Pine Hills clinic employees charged with $64,000 auto-insurance fraud

Published: 2011-05-04 11:56:45
Author: Susan Jacobson

  A Pine Hills clinic billed an auto-insurance company for treatment it never performed and gave kickbacks to people who were treated after staged car crashes, Florida's Chief Financial Officer's Office said today.

The manager of Bethel Health and Rehab Center, 1441 N. Pine Hills Road, and an employee were arrested Friday, and warrants have been issued for others investigators say are involved, the financial-officer's office said.

The clinic billed an insurance company for $64,000 in fraudulent claims, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater's Office said.

The investigation began in June, when a woman reported that she and her 16-year-old daughter were in a car crash in January 2010 and sought treatment at the clinic, an investigative summary shows. The clinic offers chiropractic care, massage, pain treatment and physical, occupational and speech therapy, according to its Web site.

The manager referred her to a law firm, which several weeks later sent her a letter saying the firm would no longer represent her, documents state. With the letter were medical documents the mother said were forged. She also told authorities that bills submitted to an insurance company contained charges for treatment that never was received.

The state Division of Insurance Fraud found that the clinic billed Direct General Insurance Co. for 21 sessions of massage therapyfor the mother and 20 for the 16-year-old. In fact, only one massage session was provided to the daughter and none to the mother, court documents show.