A federal grand jury unsealed indictments today (November 11) charging medical professionals and service companies with a kickback scheme that fleeced California Workers' Compensation insurance companies.
Basically, the medical professionals were bribed to refer patients to companies that provided services such as X-rays, MRIs, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Charges that were revealed today mainly involved chiropractors, but U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said, "Today's indictments are only the first wave of charges in what we believe is rampant corruption on the part of some physicians and chiropractors in their dealings with the health care system in general and California's Workers' Compensation System in particular."
Here's how it worked: patients who said they were injured on the job filed a workers' compensation claim with the state and sought treatment. The medical professional, such as a chiropractor, prescribed treatment such as an X-ray or extracorporeal shock wave therapy. A radiologist then bribed the chiropractor in exchange for patient referrals. The bribes were paid in clandestine huddles. For example, El Cajon Boulevard chiropractor George Reese, who referred patients to a Los Angeles area service provider, allegedly was paid $6000 in cash, hidden in a gift bag, in the parking lot of an Oceanside restaurant.
San Diego area people charged today included Ruben Martinez of Murrieta, Julian Garcia of National City, and Reese and his corporation, George K. Reese Chiropractic.