Podiatrist found guilty of health care fraud

A podiatrist from Clarkston, Mich. pleaded guilty to a federal indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

The doctor was a travelling podiatrist who provided services at various senior centers and assisted living facilities in Bay City, Flint, Detroit and Lansing. He and a partner provided routine foot care to patients consisting primarily of toenail trimming. The two committed the conspiracy by agreeing to bill Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for these toenail trimmings as surgical procedures.

The investigation revealed that patients did not actually receive surgical procedures from the doctor or his partner, as they claimed. In addition, some of the procedures were supposedly done when the doctor was actually travelling outside of the United States.

As a result of the fraudulent claims submitted from September 2000 through December 2010, the doctor and his partner received more than $1,620,000 from Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

On May 26, 2011, following a four-day trial, the doctor's partner pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud, as did the doctor.

The doctor was scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23, 2012.

Members who suspect health care fraud are urged to call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787, or report fraud through our website.