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KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas City area chiropractor has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle allegations his offices submitted false claims to Medicare for treating patients with peripheral neuropathy, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said today.
Brian Schnitta and his clinic, Natural Way Chiropractic Center, P.A., have agreed to pay the U.S. government $1,038,903 to settle allegations that they violated the federal False Claims Act. Schnitta owns and operates chiropractic offices in Overland Park and Lenexa, Kan., and in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
The United States alleged that from July 1, 2011 through May 31, 2013, Schnitta and the clinic claimed they provided treatments for peripheral neuropathy and charged Medicare for several procedures that were not medically necessary or not otherwise covered by the program. The claimed procedures included nerve conduction tests, nerve block injections, and ultrasound needle guidance. Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves in the hands and feet and includes symptoms such loss of sensation and/or a burning sensation.
“Medicare is designed to ensure that this country’s elderly have access to vital health care services,” Beall said. “This office will continue efforts to protect the program and beneficiaries from providers that submit false claims for personal gain.”
“The investigation of Natural Way Chiropractic Center and its owner Brian Schnitta, D.C. reflects the seriousness with which our office views any allegations involving fraud, waste and abuse within our Federal health care programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven Hanson of the Kansas City Regional Office of Investigations for the Department of Health and Human Services.”
During the investigation, Medicare suspended payments to the clinic for the suspect services. Under the terms of the settlement, Schnitta and Natural agreed to forego those payments and to make additional payments to the government.
According to the agreement, Schnitta and Natural Way deny any wrongdoing.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas investigated. Assistant United States Attorney Jon Fleenor represented the government.