Thousands of People’s Insurance Appeals Went to a Doctor Feds Say Is a Fraud

An extraordinary story from Bloomberg:

For years, Spyros Panos seemed like a successful orthopedic surgeon, seeing dozens of patients a day and bringing in millions of dollars in fees for his suburban New York medical group.

In fact, he was inflating charges and billing for surgeries he didn’t perform, perpetrating a years-long fraud that culminated in a guilty plea on a single count in federal court in 2013.

That was the end of his surgical practice. But even as he was waiting to be sentenced, federal prosecutors say, Panos was beginning a new criminal scheme that would go undetected for years until he was arrested again in April.

Over the past five months, thousands of patients have received notices from several insurance companies that Panos had posed as another doctor in order to review their medical records in coverage disputes. At least 2,500 people nationwide were affected, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, but the full reach of the alleged fraud hasn’t been made public.

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