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Workers' compensation claims falsified by former Ohio clinic

For more than 170 years, workers' compensation has existed in the United States to make up for injuries that may happen due to negligence or carelessness on the job. Although most disputes around the employment law occur because an agency did not pay enough, fraud and other bad dealings can trigger excessive payments.

An undercover agent recently showed that a health care facility in Willoughby Hills, an Ohio town northeast of Cleveland, billed the state's Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) for several services that were not rendered to patients. One eyewitness situation covered an injured worker who refused treatment but the BWC was billed for a procedure with manufactured patient notes.

Employees later accused the clinic's co-owner of mismanaging the billing process in order to charge for fake services. Details from time spent treating patients to fees assessed for services were altered. The man and others close to the business also received medical care and billed it to the BWC.

These spurious claims led to the investigation, which showed at least 170 instances of altered data. The clinic has since gone out of business, but the evidence was used to charge the former co-owner with workers' compensation fraud.

Clinics, health care providers and others may take advantage of injured workers to line their own pockets. In these cases, the victim is not simply the agency but also the workers, who may receive lesser care if records show they have already been properly tended to if they have not.

An attorney can help rectify problems with workers' compensation. Legal representation may strength a claim for health care expenses or reverse a previous ruling on whether workers' compensation applies.

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