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The California Department of Industrial Relations said Tuesday that its Division of Workers’ Compensation has suspended two medical providers from the state’s workers compensation system.
Glendale, California-based Fermin Iglesias, a provider of durable medical equipment, and San Diego-based chiropractor Steven Rigler pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Mr. Iglesias pleaded guilty to federal charges of “participating in a fraud scheme in which injured workers were referred to specific doctors in exchange for kickbacks,” the department said in a statement. Mr. Rigler pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court as a participant in Mr. Iglesias’ kickback scheme.
Under Assembly Bill 1244, passed in 2016, medical providers are banned from participating in California’s workers comp system if they have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving fraud, abuse of the Medi-Cal or Medicare programs, or abuse of the workers comp system.
Workers compensation provider fraud is an ongoing issue in California, and solutions must focus on prevention, detection, remediation, restitution, retribution, or deterrence, according to a report issued Tuesday by Santa Monica, California-based research organization RAND Corp.