Wilmington medical clinic investigated for fraud
Posted December 28, 2009 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 28, 2009 6:55 p.m. EST
Wilmington, N.C. — A medical clinic in Wilmington run by a father and daughter is under investigation for allegedly filing fake Medicare and Medicaid claims. Investigators said they believe the business also took advantage of an unsuspecting Raleigh clinic.
Pages of medical claims are tied to at least five different medical clinic names in Wilmington.
Roy Creasy and his daughter, Tamala Creasy Newton, are accused of collecting money for chiropractic and other work they never performed. They're also accused of re-billing forms with altered dates and re-routing payments to themselves meant for other clinics.
The Vistar Medical Clinic in Raleigh is one of the listed victims.
According to court documents, when she was arrested, Newton gave police officers false Social Security numbers and a fake pathology report stating she had cancer and said she would pursue an insanity defense.
Stephanie Bias, coordinator for the Medicare fraud prevention program in the state's Department of Insurance, said she is seeing more fraud cases lately “because it’s become easy.”
Her division fields complaints and helps seniors, in particular, to watch for illegal claims on their statements.
“That’s why we encourage folks to be diligent in comparing statements to their journals. We encourage them to call us if they see anything suspicious,” Bias said.
Fake billing for medical equipment is one of the biggest problems, according to Bias.
In September, a Raleigh man pleaded guilty in a $12 million Medicare fraud scheme involving motorized scooters.
The federal government reported in May that more than $90 million in Medicare reimbursements for scooters was misspent in 2005 alone.
No dollar amount is listed in the Wilmington case, but court papers state that the illegal billing began in 2004. Creasy and Newton are awaiting trial.
To report fraud or abuse, call the state's hotline at 1-800-443-9354.