Bone-Stim Investigation Nabs Virginia Doc
Walter Eisner • Mon, June 17th, 2013
A Virginia podiatrist has been indicted in the ongoing investigation of fraudulent bone growth stimulator payments.
Ilene Terrell, D.P.M., of Fredericksburg was charged on June 12, 2013 with manipulating patient medical records and then lying about it to a grand jury. The indictment also claims Terrell lied to Orthofix, Inc. auditors.
Terrell allegedly prescribed an Orthofix stimulator device on numerous occasions for patients where the claim would not have met Medicare’s guidelines. When this occurred, the Orthofix territory manager, Terrell, and an employee at Terrell’s direction often manipulated patient medical records, making it appear as though the stimulator was not prescribed until three months had elapsed without healing, when in fact that was not true and Medicare should not have paid the claim.
On some occasions, Terrell allegedly prescribed a stimulator for a patient and the patient’s bone healed within the prohibited three-month window. When that occurred, Terrell, an Orthofix representative, and an employee at Terrell’s direction deleted references in chart notes that the patient was using the stimulator and was healing, and they created a new, fictitious note at the end of the 90-day period stating that the bone was still broken and that a stimulator would be ordered. Terrell also created fictitious prescriptions to support the bogus claims.
According to the complaint filed by Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney in Boston, on May 22, 2012, Terrell testified before the grand jury. She was asked several times if she was aware that patient records had been manipulated. Terrell lied to the grand jury, emphatically denying that she manipulated patient records or that she was even aware that anyone had done so. Terrell lied about other matters as well, including her communications with an Orthofix representative about the government’s investigation and her role in obstructing an audit performed by Orthofix when the company requested that she provide medical records related to claims for bone growth stimulators.
The Foot Doctor of Rappahannock
According to her practice web site, “The Foot Doctor of Rappahannock, Ltd.”, Terrell is board certified in foot surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. She provides conservative as well as surgical management of foot and ankle ailments for children, teens, adults and seniors, including diabetic patients.
She has been practicing in the Fredericksburg area since 1986 and has maintained Board certification in foot surgery since 1995. Terrell maintains privileges at Mary Washington hospital and the Fredericksburg Ambulatory Surgery Center. She has served as chairman of the podiatry department at Mary Washington Hospital.
Terrell attended the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric medicine and the Surgical Residency programs. “She is committed to providing the highest level of care, taking the time to explain your ailment and address your concerns. She believes that ongoing training and product knowledge assists her in her efforts to remain current with new trends in podiatric medicine and surgery,” states the web site.
If convicted, Terrell faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The U.S. Attorney said Terrell is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.