medical clinic owners indicted for health care fraud,
false tax returns
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the married co-owners of a Kansas City, Mo., medical clinic have been indicted by a federal grand jury for health care fraud and filing false tax returns.
Carol Ann Ryser, 75, and Michael Earl Ryser, 67, both of Mission Hills, Kan., were charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Carol and Michael Ryser are co-owners of Health Centers of America-Kansas City, LLC (HCA), a medical clinic in Kansas City, Mo., that purports to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases such as Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other auto immune diseases. Carol Ryser is a medical doctor and the medical director. Michael Ryser is the CEO, chief administrator and vice-president.
The federal indictment alleges that the Rysers engaged in fraudulent billing by “upcoding” and falsifying claims submitted to insurers (including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare and others, as well as government programs such as Medicare and Tricare) in an effort to be paid more than the amount to which HCA was entitled.
According to the indictment, the scheme included: (a) billing for physician office visits when Carol Ryser was out of town; (b) billing for physician office visits when Carole Ryser had little or no involvement with the patient; (c) billing for physician office visits when the patient contact was by telephone call; (d) billing for services with no supporting documentation; (e) billing for physician-supervised intravenous services when no physician was on duty at the clinic; and (f) improperly billing for consultation services.
The Rysers are also charged with three counts of filing false tax returns for the calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the Rysers to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the health care fraud scheme, including $51,946.
Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas M. Larson and Cindi Woolery. It was investigated by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Food and Drug Administration.