Ohio Physician Convicted of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

June 11, 2009

A Cincinnati, Ohio, physician has been sentenced following a guilty plea related to overbilling the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for evaluation and management services, the BWC reported.

Dr. Walter G. Broadnax, owner of The Pain Group, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $56,246. An investigation by BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) found that Dr. Broadnax overbilled BWC for services he reportedly rendered to Ohio injured workers.

The agency reported that SID undercover agents found Dr. Broadnax upcoded or upcharged billing codes to obtain a higher reimbursement amount from the agency. In one example, Dr. Broadnax conducted a five minute face-to-face evaluation with an SID undercover agent that involved minimal examination or discussion about medical history. However, BWC was billed for evaluation and management services for which a physician typically spends 25 minutes with a patient and renders a medical decision following a detailed history or examination.

SID later learned that Dr. Broadnax was persuaded by his attorney, Kenneth L. Lawson, to begin an instant prescription-writing conspiracy to obtain Percodan, Oxycotin and Percocet, all Schedule II controlled substances. He wrote prescriptions for persons who were not his patients and had not been medically examined by him.

As part of this activity, Lawson provided lists of persons for whom Dr. Broadnax wrote prescriptions for the controlled substances. Lawson would then obtain the drugs for his personal consumption. On April 8, U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Beckwith sentenced Lawson to 24 months incarceration, one year probation, 1,000 hours of community service and a $100 special assessment fine.

Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

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