News 4 Investigates: Local podiatrist admits to defrauding almos - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Local podiatrist admits to defrauding almost $1 million from Medicare

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(KMOV.com) - Local podiatrist Dr. Lawrence B. Iken will be spending a year behind bars for his part in a Medicare scheme that stole almost $1 million in fake health care claims.

Iken pled guilty to charges involving the submission of false documents and reimbursement claims related to podiatry services he purportedly provided from 2006 through July 2014.

According to court documents, Dr. Iken and his company, Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, LLC. have offices in Manchester and Creve Coeur. Dr. Iken provided services to nursing home residents on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

With his plea, Dr. Iken admitted that on thousands of occasions, he billed Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for the incision and drainage of abscesses and hematomas when he actually only clipped the toenails of the patients.

Health and Human Services Special Agent Gerald Roy said he sees it all the time, doctors defrauding Medicare by billing for bogus services.

"You can steal millions of dollars from Medicare in a matter of months" said Roy.

After viewing the undercover videos that captured himself on camera committing the fraud, Iken pled guilty. Before sentencing, Iken cut a check for nearly $1 million to pay back the fraud.

Roy estimates up to 10 percent of the $700 billion spent on Medicare is fraud. That's why undercover agents are paying visits to doctors like Iken around St. Louis, and around the country.

If you suspect fraud in the Medicare program contact News 4 or Health and Human Services.

To report Medicare fraud or abuse, you can do any of the following:

Call the Medicare fraud tip line at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The TTY number is 1-800-377-4950.

You can also send up to 10 pages describing the incident to HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov.

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