The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced an area physician, Dr. Thomas Lover, entered a guilty plea for his involvement with West Side Medical Inc. It is reportedly estimated that between the years of 1997 and 2002, West Side Medical defrauded BWC of $190,094.30.
At the hearing, Lover pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud and eight other felony counts. Other interested parties, such as the Cleveland Drug Diversion Unit (DEA) and the West Shore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) also investigated West Side Medical Incorporated for illegal practices.
The investigation began when BWC Special Investigations Unit (SIU) noticed West Side Medical Inc. had falsely used the name of a physician on their documents. The physician they referenced had not worked at their facility for many years. Further, the investigation reportedly proved that West Side had repeatedly billed BWC for services that were never provided, dispensed medication to injured workers and required the injured workers to pay for the medication.
Surveillance administered by the SIU revealed that Lover, the only physician employed by the clinic, infrequently visited the office. In addition, surveillance and billing reviews exposed that injured workers who only spent a matter of moments in the facility were being charged for services.
The SIU served search warrants at 3 locations with more than 30 agents involved in the process.
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