Teacher massage scam alleged

MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A Flushing-area chiropractor has been charged in an alleged $48,000 insurance scam involving teacher massages, according to The Flint Journal. The chiropractor allegedly misled teachers about the extent of massage treatment covered by their health insurance, then overbilled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, The Journal reported.

Miguel M. Ruelan, 39, allegedly sent Flushing Community Schools teachers a letter telling them their massages would continue to be covered despite a change in the teacher health plan that cut the number of allowed visits from 38 to 24 a year, according to The Journal.

Based on Ruelan's billings, Blue Cross sent in undercover investigators who received massages that weren't covered on their insurance cards, according to The Journal. The massages then were billed to Blue Cross as "mechanical traction" treatments, Genesee County Sheriff Robert J. Pickell told The Journal, though the investigators did not  receive any mechanical traction therapy. Pickell's office began an investigation in February.

The bills ranged from $160 to more than $200 per session, Pickell told The Journal.  Allegedly fraudulent bills totaling $48,000 were submitted between December 2007 and November 2008, The Journal reported. There is no indication that teachers were aware of the scam, Pickell told The Journal.

The Flint Journal, "Flushing-area chiropractor accused of $48,000 insurance scam involving teacher massages," July 26, 2009

Michigan Education Digest, "Flint area schools battle over health insurance," May 22, 2007