California’s Department of Industrial Relations and its Division of Workers’ Compensation has suspended seven medical providers from participating in the state’s workers’ comp system.
The providers were convicted of workers’ comp fraud or have been suspended from the Medicare or Medicaid programs for medical fraud, and they have filed more than 8,500 liens in California’s workers’ comp system with a total of claim value of at least $59 million, according to the DIR.
The actions by the DIR were made possible by Assembly Bill 1244, which passed last year. The bill requires the DWC administrative director to suspend any medical provider, physician or practitioner from participating in the workers’ comp system when convicted of fraud.
- The suspended providers and their convictions providers are:
- Philip Sobol, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles convicted in Santa Ana’s federal District Court for insurance mail fraud and other charges connected to receiving workers’ comp kickbacks. Sobol has nearly 6,000 active workers’ comp liens with an estimated total claim value of more than $42.7 million.
- Jason Hui-Tek Yang, a psychiatrist in Pasadena convicted in Riverside County Superior Court for his involvement in an insurance fraud conspiracy, including the referral of patients for unnecessary care to justify workers’ comp billing. Yang has more than 2,000 active workers’ comp liens with an estimated total claim value of more than $13.7 million.
- Alan Ivar, a chiropractor in Costa Mesa convicted in Santa Ana’s federal District Court for referring patients to a Long Beach hospital in a kickback scheme. Ivar has more than 400 active workers’ comp liens with an estimated total claim value of more than $2.5 million.
- Thomas M. Heric, a physician in Los Angeles convicted in Sacramento’s federal District Court for health care fraud related to the Medicare and Medicaid programs who was suspended from those programs.
- Carlos Arguello, a Chula Vista businessman convicted in San Diego’s federal District Court for his role in a kickback scheme that involved referring injured workers to specific chiropractors for medical care regardless of their injuries.
- Daniel Dahan, a former chiropractor in Long Beach suspended from the Medicare and Medicaid programs who surrendered his license to practice.
- Boniface Okwudili Onubah, a former neurologist in Marina Del Rey suspended from the Medicare and Medicaid programs whose medical license was revoked.
- Suspension notices were issued to the providers in January. The suspension becomes effective 30 days later if the provider does not appeal the action.
An additional three providers who were notified of the pending suspension have filed appeals of the action. Those appeals are in process.
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