KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Two Kansas City area chiropractors have paid $350,000 to settle allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare, U.S. Attorney Steven McAllister said in a news release Tuesday.
Brothers Ryan Schell and Tyler Schell, and their former clinic, Kansas City Health and Wellness Clinic, P.A., agreed to pay the United States to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. The Schells’ clinic was located in Lenexa, Kansas.
In an action filed in federal court in Kansas, the United States alleged that the Schells claimed they provided treatments for peripheral neuropathy and charged Medicare for procedures that were not medically necessary, not actually provided, or not covered by the program. Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves in the hands and feet and includes symptoms such loss of sensation and/or a burning sensation.
The claimed procedures included nerve conduction tests, nerve block injections, ultrasound needle guidance and the purported use of vasopneumatic devices. The complaint filed by the United States alleged that claims for the nerve tests falsely stated that they were performed by doctors when they were not actually interpreted by any qualified health care professional; that the nerve block injections and needle guidance were not medically necessary; and that the Schells’ claims for the vasopneumatic devices were instead merely for the use of mechanical massage chairs.
Brian Holt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations (HHS OIG/OI), Kansas City Region, stated, “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.”
According to the agreement, the Schells and their clinic deny any wrongdoing.
The federal district court case is United States v. Schell et al. No. 18-CV-02706. HHS OIG/OI and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas investigated. Assistant United States Attorney Jon Fleenor represented the government.