Missouri physician pleads guilty to healthcare fraud, must pay $127K

Joplin, Mo.-based pain management physician Heather Stelling, MD, has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and must pay $127,750 in restitution, KOAM News reported Dec. 2. 

Dr. Stelling, who owned and operated a pain management clinic in Joplin, allegedly used false information to get Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. She also allegedly continued to practice medicine from Sept. 12 to Sept. 24, 2018, despite knowing her medical license was suspended. 

According to the report, investigators say that Dr. Stelling knew that Medicare and Medicaid would not pay claims for services rendered while her license was suspended, so she billed by "falsely claiming dates of services outside the period of her suspension."

Dr. Stelling was also accused of altering the dates of service in her patients' records to conceal that the service had been rendered when her license was suspended.

She is subject to up to five years in federal prison without parole.

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