insurance

How to avoid health care fraud

Bogus medical treatment after a staged car crash
Bogus medical treatment after a staged car crash © Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock.com

Four residents of Jacksonville, Fla., including a chiropractor, were recently arrested and charged with staging automobile accidents, then steering the victims to the chiropractor for treatment they did not need. Quiggle says it's an old scam he's seeing more and more, as well as a source of rising insurance premiums.

Fake accidents are more common than they may seem, and some are more dangerous than others. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that criminals targeting the Las Vegas area are staging fake accidents by pulling into the paths of big rigs and slamming on their brakes. These con artists are pinning their hopes on getting big settlements out of the truckers, but many of these staged crimes also involve false medical treatment.

How to spot it: If you're involved in an accident and someone tries to influence you into going to a certain clinic or physician, steer clear. It may be a setup.

What to do: Contact your state department of insurance and your own insurer to report the incident of health care fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau's website contains links to different states' departments of insurance and fraud bureaus.

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