Retired Lake Worth Beach, Fla., surgeon Merrill Reuter, MD, is being sued for allegedly billing at least 34 patients for spinal fusions he never performed, according to a Nov. 8 The Palm Beach Post report.
Dr. Reuter, podiatrist Mark Metzger, and chiropractors Craig Bauer and Brian Bauer, DO, allegedly cashed in on the fake procedures, according to the report. The two chiropractors own Broward Outpatient Surgical Center and Beth Israel Outpatient Surgical Center, where many of the allegedly phony surgeries were claimed to have been performed.
Both ASCs are located in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Multiple radiologists and at least one physician confirmed the lack of hardware or tissue evidence of surgery, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Despite the procedures typically costing less than $20,000, Dr. Reuter allegedly billed patients up to $125,000 for them and sued those who refused to pay the full amount.
The four defendants allegedly ran a scheme that involved paying kickbacks for referring patients to clinics they owned, a violation of Florida law.
Scott Mager, attorney for the plaintiffs, said he has been contacted by more than a dozen additional people with similar claims, according to The Palm Beach Post. Mager said the damages could be in the tens of millions of dollars.