A jury recently found against a Nevada chiropractor, Obteen Nassiri, to the tune of $7 million after evidence was presented that implicated his part in a racketeering scheme where he inflated claims for patients in auto accidents. The suit, brought by Allstate, alleged that Nassiri accepted auto accident victims to his clinics for unnecessary medical consultations and expensive diagnostic studies in an effort to generate more revenue and profit as early as 2003. Nassiri was alleged to have provided unnecessary and excessive treatment, charged for treatment that never occurred, grossly misrepresented billing and exhibited a general pattern of illegal and fraudulent conduct. Not even his wife was safe, as she was also found guilty of negligent representation for her part in the scheme.
This is an unfortunate abuse of a medical professional’s power and standing in the community that will have negative repercussions in the medical field as well as the legal industry. The reputation of all involved has obviously been smeared by this unlawful practice, and it is possible that chiropractors and personal injury attorneys may see a decline in business. However, the real travesty may possibly be perpetrated by the victims of Nassiri’s malfeasance, the insurance companies, against their insured customers. While this may seem counter intuitive and biased against insurance companies, let me explain.
Now that Allstate has a victory in its pocket regarding injured people receiving inflated treatment, what’s to stop the ignoble insurance companies them from using this case as a means to deny coverage indiscriminately under the guise of “protecting the public” from scheming chiropractors and doctors? Insurance companies only make a profit if their payouts for claims is not greater than the premiums they receive. Thus, some such companies are incentivized to find creative and clever ways to deny claims to maximize business profits, making this case a perfect wa. This Nassiri has not only smeared the good name of honest and hardworking chiropractors, but he has also opened the gates of possibility for insurance companies to be more tight-fisted and profit-centric as opposed to looking after the needs of their injured insured customers. That being said, the only question remaining is… are you SURE you’re in good hands?