Doctors sentenced to prison for fraud

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - An orthopedic surgeon and two chiropractors have
been sentenced to federal prison for cheating insurance companies
out of $3 million by mislabeling treatments for back pain.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 58-year-old Dr. Howard Berkowitz
of Atlanta was sentenced Thursday to 18 months, and the chiropractors, 67-year-old Arthur Hargraves of Douglasville, Ga., and 52-year-old Daniel Puffenberger of Kissimmee, Fla., each got three years and five months.

Berkowitz pleaded guilty and testified against his former partners in the Associated Spinal Care Network, which operated clinics in north Georgia and Tennessee. Prosecutors said the network faked reports to be reimbursed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia for a procedure that was not covered by the insurance company.

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