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Lake Forest chiropractor gets prison for health care fraud

Updated: January 13, 2013 6:15AM

CHICAGO — A Lake Forest was sentenced to more than six years in prison Monday for defrauding an insurance company out of millions of dollars by ordering unnecessary tests and visits.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced Bradley Mattson, 51, to 6½ years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He must also pay about $2.1 million in restitution.

Mattson pleaded guilty in September to one count of health care fraud, according to federal prosecutors.

With chiropractors Steven Paul and Neelesh Patel, Mattson co-owned and operated Hawthorn Physical Medicine, Woodfield Physical Medicine, Stratford Physical Medicine, Algonquin Physical Medicine, Northshore Physical Medicine and Cumberland Physical Medicine from 1999 to 2009, prosecutors said Monday.

In the plea agreement, he admitted directing patients to get initial X-rays and a pre-set schedule of visits for six months, even if they were not necessary. He also ordered his staff to perform MRIs and neurological diagnostic testing without regard to necessity.

Mattson billed Blue Cross Blue Shield about $5.8 million for unnecessary tests and physical therapy services never provided, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

His clinics collected about $2.1 million from those claims.

An undercover FBI agent visited one of the clinics in 2008 for a lower back strain and Mattson diagnosed a pinched nerve and ordered daily visits for two weeks, despite the opinion of other doctors and therapists that the injury was a pulled muscle, prosecutors said.

Paul, 41, of Northbrook, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud in September and is awaiting sentencing, according to prosecutors. Charges against Patel, 37, of Glenview, are pending.

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