September 26, 2017

CA DIR & DWC Suspend Michael R. Drobot, Steven Howser for Fraud

San Francisco, CA – The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) have suspended two more medical providers from participating in California’s workers’ compensation system. DWC Acting Administrative Director George Parisotto issued Orders of Suspension for the following providers, who had not appealed suspension notices issued in mid-April:

  • Michael R. Drobot operated California Pharmacy Management and Industrial Pharmacy Management, companies that participated in a scheme to illegally refer patients for spinal surgeries, which led to more than $580 million in fraudulent bills. He pled guilty in U.S. District Court last year to conspiracy and illegal kickback charges. He is the son of Michael D. Drobot, the hospital operator who also pled guilty for his part in the kickback scheme. DWC suspended the senior Drobot on April 28.
  • Steven Howser, the manager of Post Surgical Rehab Specialists of Santa Fe Springs, was charged in U.S. District Court for participating in an illegal scheme to refer patients for durable medical equipment. He pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, honest services mail fraud and to violate the travel act.

AB 1244 (Gray and Daly) requires the DWC Administrative Director to suspend any medical provider, physician or practitioner from participating in the workers’ compensation system in cases in which one or more of the following is true:

  • The provider has been convicted of a crime involving fraud or abuse of the MediCal or Medicare programs or the workers’ compensation system, fraud or abuse of a patient, or related types of misconduct;
  • The provider has been suspended due to fraud or abuse from the Medicare or Medicaid (including Medi-Cal) programs; or
  • The provider’s license or certificate to provide health care has been surrendered or revoked.

There are currently 25 providers suspended from California’s workers’ compensation system.

Source: CA DIR

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