Five Tampa-area clinic owners have been arrested and a warrant issued for the arrest of a sixth owner for “selling” patients, most of whom were accident victims, to diagnostic facilities that billed auto insurers thousands of dollars in claims.
In March, insurance fraud detectives arrested 13 individuals, including three Tampa clinic owners, on similar charges. In this latest investigation, insurance fraud detectives caught clinic owners on undercover audio and videotape taking payments from MRI facility owners for the referral of patients. The investigation revealed some of the clinic owners engaged in patient brokering for several months, collecting thousands of dollars in referral fees.
The investigation revealed that diagnostic companies were paying the fee to get the business and the ability to bill the patients’ auto insurance carriers, under Personal Injury Protection coverage, anywhere from $800 to $1,000 per patient for the MRIs. Florida’s drivers are required by law to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.