Massage Therapist Pleads Guilty, Will Testify Against Barrows

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 5, 2014 12:00 am  

Drs. Robert and Angela Barrow practice at this office in west Little Rock. | (Photo by Jason Burt)

In 2006, Life-Letics launched a website that promoted its acceptance of health insurance and Medicare, the federal health care insurance program for people 65 and older and for the disabled, but not Medicaid, the government health-insurance program that is for low-income families with children. “Your benefits will fall under your therapy benefits,” the indictment quoted the company’s website.

After each patient visit, Young handed over patient information to Your Doctor’s Office employees to bill insurance companies, the indictment said.

Young’s name “did not appear on health insurance claim forms,” the indictment said.

Neither Medicare nor Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield cover physical therapy services when the treatment is done by a massage therapist.

The proceeds of bills were split between Your Doctor’s Office and Young, whose revenue under the arrangement reached nearly $250,000 annually, the indictment said. The indictment also said that the Barrows “fraudulently caused the submission of over $1.2 million in physical therapy claims to Medicare and [ABCBS].”

Young agreed to repay Medicare $18,510 and Health Advantage $249,361, which is a subsidiary of ABCBS.

Four of the criminal charges against Robert Barrow allege that he billed ABCBS for ultrasounds when “no ultrasound had been performed.” The four questionable ultrasounds all appear to have involved the same patient during a period of less than a month in the summer of 2011.

The Barrows’ jury trial is set for Jan. 12 in front of U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes.

If convicted, the Barrows each face up to 10 years in federal prison on each of the six counts of health care fraud as well as 10 years for the overarching conspiracy.

Robert Barrow also faces up to five years in prison on each count of making false statements in relation to health care matters.

 

 

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