Health Care

Feds: JoCo chiropractor brothers cheated Medicare. They’re handing over $350,000

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A pair of brothers who ran a chiropractic clinic in Lenexa have agreed to pay $350,000 to settle allegations they cheated Medicare.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced the settlement against Ryan Schell and Tyler Schell, who were accused of charging the federal health program for treatments “that were not medically necessary, not actually provided, or not covered by the program.”

“Our office will continue to focus our efforts on those providers receiving improper payments for services not covered by Medicare in order to ensure the integrity of HHS programs,” said Brian Holt, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General who worked on the case.

The treatments in question were for peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which nerve damage in the hands and feet causes tingling, burning or a loss of sensation. It’s a common complication of diabetes.

According to the feds, the brothers ran ads claiming they could heal the condition by rejuvenating damaged nerves.

They billed Medicare for nerve tests and falsely stated they were performed by doctors “when they were not actually interpreted by any qualified health care professional,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday. They also billed for nerve block injections guided by ultrasound that were not medically necessary and billed for “vasopneumatic device” treatments (with specialized equipment to compress swelling) that were actually just sessions in mechanical massage chairs, the office said.

The federal suit, filed in December, listed about $470,000 in false claims between October 2011 and December 2013.

According to the settlement agreement, the Schells denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

The Schells established Spine & Sport Rehabilitation at 10074 Woodland Road in 2008, according to Kansas Secretary of State records, and later changed the name to Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic. The business was forfeited in July 2016 for failure to file an annual report.

Ryan Schell’s Kansas chiropractic license expired in January 2017, according to state records. Tyler Schell remains licensed, with his practice address listed as Natural Way Chiropractic Center of Lenexa, 14645 W. 95th St.

He did not respond to a message left there Wednesday.

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