PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Nicholas Bufanio, 53, of Hellertown, PA pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud before United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr.
Bufanio is a doctor of chiropractic medicine, who has operated Community Chiropractic, Inc. in Bethlehem, PA, since at least 2011. The defendant submitted fraudulent claims to health insurers of approximately $236,000 for chiropractic services he did not render. He routinely submitted claims for patients who failed to appear for scheduled appointments, falsely asserting that he saw the patients and provided chiropractic care. He also submitted fraudulent claims for days when he was not even in the office.
Additionally, from November 2017 until approximately December 2018, Bufanio was convalescing at home. Although he did not see patients during this time, the defendant submitted bogus claims to health insurers pretending that he was keeping normal office hours and rendering chiropractic treatment.
“Physicians and other medical professionals who fraudulently bill insurance companies are thieves – they steal from both the companies and the honest subscribers,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Dr. Bufanio was arrogant enough to think that he could get paid for doing nothing. My Office will continue to use every tool at its disposal to investigate, prosecute, and punish this type of fraud.”
“Through our criminal enforcement program, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), will vigorously pursue those who violate the criminal laws protecting private–sector employee benefit plans,” said EBSA Philadelphia Regional Director Michael Schloss.
The case was investigated by U.S. Department of Labor-Employee Benefits Security Administration, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Beth Leahy.