NC chiropractor Cohen set for sentencing today

teven I. Cohen, a licensed chiropractor who has practiced at variously named clinics at 3100 S. Memorial Drive, appeared in court Wednesday for the first part of his sentencing hearing.

Cohen was indicted in 2004 on 527 counts of health care fraud, 21 counts of mail fraud, two counts of obstruction and one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering. In July, he entered guilty pleas to two counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud as part of a plea agreement.

The mail fraud charges stem from claims submitted to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for patient treatments not actually rendered. Cohen also conspired with another chiropractor to use provider numbers, some not belonging to them, to submit claims to insurance companies for procedures that were not performed, assistant United States Attorney Yvonne Watford-McKinney said.

Gratzmiller has pleaded guilty to false declarations before a grand jury in connection with previous testimony given during a grand jury investigation of fraud at the chiropractic office. Among other things, Gratzmiller told a grand jury he had not been asked to move medical records.

Wednesday, Gratzmiller testified he, Cohen and another man at the clinic did move records after an investigator with Blue Cross/Blue Shield began asking for them.

Gratzmiller also testified Cohen asked that services not provided be billed to insurance companies that would pay for them and that provider numbers of medical doctors were used rather than those of chiropractors because insurance coverage would be better.

Gratzmiller is also expected to be sentenced today on the perjury charge.