A Nutley chiropractor was sentenced last week to four years in state prison for scamming five insurance companies out of more than $89,000 in payments to which he was not entitled, authorities reported.
Joseph Salomone, 45, who had his chiropractic offices in Jersey City and Paterson, appeared Thursday in Hudson County Superior Court, Jersey City, before Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez. The fouryear term she handed down was the result of a Nov. 4 agreement in which Salomone pleaded guilty to second-degree health care claims fraud.
Salomone’s chiropractic license will also be suspended for three years with an additional two years of probation.
In pleading guilty, Salomone admitted that he directed his office workers to complete periodic re-evaluation forms on a number of automobile accident victims. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Salomone directed his staff to complete the forms using pre-determined information unrelated to an actual assessment of the patient.
Accordingly, authorities said, the patient’s medical records did not accurately reflect what treatment plan was optimal for that individual, including whether they actually needed to continue chiropractic care with Salomone.
As a result of the false documentation submitted in the billing process, Salomone received a total of $89,283 in payments from Allstate Insurance Co., High Point Insurance Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance Co. and the United States Automobile Association.
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman reported that Salomone has paid back the $89,283 and also paid $75,000 in civil fines levied by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.
“Patients need to have trust that their chiropractors will work in their best interest and not in the interest of perpetuating fraud,” Hoffman said last week.
“Salomone violated that trust and has been sentenced accordingly.”
“Today’s sentence reiterates the message that committing insurance fraud in New Jersey will lead to prison,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.