Skip to comments.Allstate claims fraud at Valley chiropractic clinics[TX OH IN AL]
Posted on 03/24/2008 9:56:34 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
McALLEN - One of the nation's top insurers has sued a group of Rio Grande Valley chiropractic clinics and lawyers alleging they were involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud operation.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Dallas, Allstate Insurance Co. accuses Arlington-based Chiropractic Strategies Group Inc. and its associated clinics of soliciting patients, encouraging them to undergo unnecessary treatments and then persuading them to file personal injury lawsuits against the insurance company.
The Valley clinics are part of a larger network with branches across Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama, Allstate spokesman Bill Mellander said.
"This is one of the largest insurance fraud investigations that Allstate has ever undertaken," he said. "The investigation is exhaustive because it has to be right."
Several phone calls to a Chiropractic Strategies spokesw-oman, who is also named in the lawsuit, went unreturned and attempts to locate company officials at local clinics were unsuccessful.
So far, no attorneys have filed with the court to represent Chiropractic Strategies or any of its Valley clinics.
A 67-page complaint filed in the case alleges Chiropractic Strategies clinics targeted hundreds of potential patients by combing through vehicle accident reports at local police stations.
Allstate alleges telemarketers encouraged the parties to visit company clinics for free evaluations, where chiropractors - and sometimes unlicensed assistants - diagnosed them with injuries ranging from spinal problems to bone misalignments.
In many cases, the extent of the injury was exaggerated and the treatments unnecessary, the insurance company alleges. Allstate claims that once treatment was completed, patients were referred to a law firm for potential personal injury lawsuits.
Allstate claims Chiropractic Strategies and associated businesses are responsible for more than $10 million in fraudulent payments over the past six years.
"Individuals who conduct fraud generally do so because they think that they are digging into the deep pockets of a big insurance company," Mellander said. "But the reality is they're not. They're stealing from you and me."
Although Chiropractic Strategies operates clinics across the country, the Valley has become a hub of operations, Mellander said.
The company has managed five past and current facilities here including Dove Pointe Chiropractic in McAllen and Weslaco Chiropractic on South Texas Boulevard, he said.
Three lawyers the suit names as defendants reside in South Texas.
One of them, Eugene X. Mercier, has an extensive history of disciplinary reprimands from the State Bar of Texas.
Mercier could not be reached for comment. So far, no attorney has filed with the court to represent Mercier.
He also has been convicted of theft and conspiracy to commit barratry - a third-degree felony charge aimed at lawyers who solicit clients rather than waiting for them to come forward on their own.
Mercier, a Corpus Christi-based attorney who once operated offices in McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville, was convicted by a Hidalgo County jury in April 2002 and disbarred.
Fraud? From a chiropractor? I'm shocked.....
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
Well duh! That's what chiropractors are SUPPOSED to do!
finally, someone is questioning this area of “medicine”.....
Much like the power-assisted mobility devices - Medicare uncovered $$$$billions in fraudulent practices by Texas suppliers...nicknamed “Wheeler-Dealer” cases.
Of course, it was chiropracters’ lobbyists who demanded that chiro services be included in health insurance policies as *medical care* and it trickled down to all mandated services for reimbursement i.e. aromatic therapy and acupuncture. Nuts!!!!
These criminals are on the fringes of legitimate business and yes, we all pay for their corruption.
Chiropractors are quacks and frauds anyway so it stands to reason that those attempting to defraud insurance companies would go to them.
There are some good chiros, but it is an area that when combined with ambulance chasers is open to fraud.
There’s a group in my area that advertises heavily. It advertises as a “clinic” appealing to those “who’ve had an accident” and offers the added bonus of having “lawyers standing by.”
No need to chase the ambulance when the lawyer’s on staff at the clinic.
Ever been to a chiropractor?
Nope.And never will.
Do you know the definition of the word "placebo"?
Have you ever seen the "placebo effect" work right in front of your eyes?
I have (courtesy of a 20 year career at a major Boston hospital).
So if I told you I know someone who had extreme pain and was losing mobility and feeling in her legs for years, and a rhumitologist, after pain killers, anti-inflammatories, etc. have little effect, tells her that she’ll be in a wheelchair by age 35, and nothing could be done, was treated by a chiro and after a couple of months had no pain, got all feeling back in her legs and is still doing fine and very active at age 65, that’s just placebo effect?
Yup.Chiropractors are quacks.Their "treatments" have never withstood...and can never withstand...the scrutiny of investigation under the scientific method.
If you want an explanation of how chiropractic "work" just watch one of those faith healers.It's the same principle.
Most of you are ignorant about what a Chiropractor does and what a chiropractor does in order to manipulate the body AND allow it to heal itself. DO NOT call me a quack if you have never seen a chiropractor. we do a lot more for a person than to feed them pills or amputate the wrong leg. So once again for you ignoramous idiots, we are NOT quacks