INSURANCE FRAUD: Allstate Slaps Physicians, Clinics With $33 Million Suit
Allstate has filed a $33 million suit alleging that several Southern California medical clinics and doctors submitted false insurance claims "for victims of minor auto accidents," according to court filings made public yesterday. The suit follows a $25 million case filed by Allstate this summer against two other Southern California clinics (see CHL 8/25). The Los Angeles Times reports that Allstate is "the first insurer to sue doctors and clinics" for such instances of fraud. Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 29, the suit made public yesterday "accuses the defendants of engaging 'in a sophisticated scheme to defraud Allstate' by billing for treatment that was never provided and billing for unnecessary treatment." Daron Tooch, an attorney for Dr. Arthur Collins, one of the physicians' charged in the suit, said, "The doctor strongly denies these charges. He never defrauded any insurance company and has never made any false diagnosis." The defendants named in the suit include 11 doctors and chiropractors, one staff member and seven clinics owned by Collins. The seven clinics are: Bel-Fe Medical Group, Maclay Medical Group, National City Medical Clinic, National City Plaza Medical Clinic, Norwalk Medical Clinic, Oxnard Medical Clinic and Southwind Medical Clinic. Also named was A&L Medical Group, a medical management firm owned by Collins. According to the Times, Allstate has also filed a $1.95 million suit "accusing several Chicago-area medical clinics of engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine and 'up-coding'" (Lim, 10/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.