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Doctor With Storm Lake Satellite Clinic Paying to Resolve Medicaid Fraud Allegation

October 15, 2019 4:31pm

Federal officials today announced an ear, nose and throat doctor in Carroll, with clinics in eight other Iowa cities including Storm Lake, has agreed to pay one-MILLION dollars to resolve allegations of Medicaid fraud. The doctor says the settlement is not an admission of wrong doing.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids, Dr. Tracey Wellendorf was accused of performing sinus surgeries that did not meet Medicaid's "medically necessary" standards or were incorrectly coded on bills submitted to Medicaid. Officials indicate the doctor's one-MILLION dollar payment to the government relates to as many as 115 procedures performed from the fall of 2014 through the fall of 2015. Dr. Wellendorf released a written statement, saying reasonable people can disagree about the best medical treatment options and neither he nor the clinic are admitting doing anything wrong. Wellendorf said "there were no adverse patient outcomes" and he's" happy and relieved" to have what he described as an "expensive, time-consuming and distracting" matter resolved. A special agent in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Wellendorf has agreed to "intensive quarterly monitoring by an independent review organization" over the next three years.”

Wellendorf says that additional scrutiny will show "complete compliance" with Medicaid regulations and professional standards.

The website for Wellendorf's Carroll clinic shows the doctor operates satellite clinics in Atlantic, Corning, Denison, Ida Grove, Jefferson, Lake City, Red Oak and Storm Lake.

(credit to Radio Iowa)