New Jersey’s State Board of Chiropractic Examiners suspended the license of a doctor and ordered the payment of fines and restitution to an insurance company after the chiropractor reportedly admitted to paying a “runner” to find and refer patients to his Union City office, State Attorney General Peter Harvey and Consumer Affairs Director Reni Erdos said.
William F. Ittner, D.C. pled “no contest” to other allegations that he administered chiropractic treatment without first performing proper examinations of patients who were steered to his office; took incompetent x-rays; used unlicensed staff in the treatment of patients; required patients to be seen unnecessarily and to be separately billed by a medical doctor on the premises; and submitted inflated and deceptive bills for services not rendered.
Under terms of the agreement between the Board and Dr. Ittner, who currently practices at “Chiropractic Health Center” in Paterson, his license will be suspended for five years beginning on April 1.
The first 18 months will be an active suspension, with the remainder stayed as probation if Ittner meets the terms and conditions specified in the agreement. Ittner must pay the State a $5,000 civil penalty and also $6,752 in reimbursement for investigative costs. He must reimburse AIG Claim Services, Inc. a total of $2,520. The Board also ordered Ittner to complete 100 hours of continuing chiropractic education classes, an ethics course, competency examinations and other remedial measures.
“Dr. Ittner enriched himself at the expense of honest citizens, who face rising insurance premiums as a result of deceptions and misconduct by medical professionals,” Harvey said. “He essentially paid a bounty to get patient referrals from auto accident cases, for which he could then bill insurance companies.”
“Patients who went to Dr. Ittner for help were instead exposed to risk of harm by his unprofessional actions and his use of unlicensed persons to administer some health care treatments,” Erdos said. “We hope that the continuing education classes and examinations ordered by the Board will help rehabilitate Dr. Ittner to assure that, if he returns to practice, patients will receive competent and professional care.”
Ittner reportedly paid a runner $300 for each patient referred to him while he worked at “Haveron Total Health, P.A.” at 2813 Bergenline Avenue in Union City. The State cited three instances in 2001 when these referrals and payments occurred. Ittner pled guilty in court in June, 2003 to a criminal charge of violating the State’s “runner statute” and was permitted to enter the State’s Pre-Trial Intervention program.
Deputy Attorney General Joan Gelber represented the State in this matter.
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