A Lenexa chiropractic clinic and its two owner-operators are being sued by the federal government for defrauding Medicare.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, names Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic, Ryan Schell and Tyler Schell. It seeks triple damages under the federal False Claims Act.
The lawsuit alleges the Schells, who are brothers, billed Medicare for peripheral neuropathy treatments that are not covered by the program and for treatments they did not provide at all.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes burning, stabbing or tingling pain, typically in the hands and feet. It’s often caused by diabetes.
The lawsuit says Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic solicited patients with ads stating it could heal neuropathy and “rejuvenate the nerve fibers.” The clinic billed Medicare for procedures that included nerve conduction tests, nerve block injections, ultrasonic guidance and treatments using vasopneumatic devices.
The lawsuit alleges that some of the claimed procedures were not provided and others were not medically reasonable or necessary for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.
For example, the suit says the clinic billed Medicare for services using vasopneumatic devices – specialized equipment that apply pressure to reduce swelling – when in reality the treatments involved the use of mechanical massage chairs.
All told, the suit lists more than $467,000 in allegedly false billings between October 2011 and December 2013. Triple damages would bring the total to more than $1.4 million.
The Schells could not be reached for comment Monday.
It’s not clear if the clinic, which was located at at 10074 Woodland Road, is still open. Clicking on its URL, www.kchealthclinic.com, leads to a Chinese-language website that appears to advertise gambling in Macau. Calls to the clinic Monday were not answered.
Records on file with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office show the Schells incorporated the clinic as Spine & Sport Rehabilitation in 2008. They changed the name to Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic in 2011. The records show the clinic forfeited its corporate status in 2016 after it failed to file an annual report.
According to records on file with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which regulates chiropractors, both Schells received chiropractic degrees from Cleveland Chiropractic College in 2006. The records state they were born in 1977.
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.