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Kalamazoo-area doctor pleads guilty to Medicare fraud, reusing rectal devices on patients

Dr. Roger Beyer and wife Susan Wright and Beyer's attorney Alan Rogalksi leave U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on Friday, May 15, 2020.{ }
Dr. Roger Beyer and wife Susan Wright and Beyer's attorney Alan Rogalksi leave U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on Friday, May 15, 2020.
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Former Kalamazoo Urogynecologist Dr. Roger Beyer and Susan Wright, his wife, both pleaded guilty to federal charges of health care fraud and reusing medical devices on multiple patients.

Beyer and Wright entered guilty pleas on the felony charges in U.S. District Court of West Michigan May 15, 2020.

Beyer pleaded guilty to directing his staff at two West Michigan clinics to reuse multiple anorectal devices meant for one-time use, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to committing health care fraud, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to federal court documents.

Federal prosecutors said from 2007 to 2019, Beyer and Wright, a nurse practitioner, directed staff in both practices to reuse a single-user rectal pressure sensor on a number of patients as part of pelvic muscle rehabilitation therapy. Court documents indicate Beyer and Wright put patients at risk by reusing the medical devices.

Beyer, 72, owned Women’s Health Care Specialists, P.C., an obstetrics-gynecology practice in Kalamazoo, and Urological Solutions of Michigan, PLC, a medical practice consisting of traveling nurse practitioners in West Michigan.

Soon after the investigation of the clinics was made public, Beyer told Newschannel 3, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, that he had done nothing wrong. Beyer closed the practice and announced his retirement in July 2019, weeks after federal prosecutors launched their investigation.

Investigators also said Beyer told the women's health clinic staff to reuse a disposable, one-time use anorectal manometry catheter on a number of patients to carry out a diagnostic study regarding the inability to control bowel movements.

Wright pleaded guilty to misprision of health care fraud and the adulteration of a medical device. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wright knew the practice was fraudulently billing Medicare for services but never informed authorities. Beyer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Beyer admitted to filing $487,000 in fraudulent claims as part of a scheme to defraud medicare between 2011 and 2015. Beyer admitted to fraudulently billing Medicare for therapy services, known as pelvic muscle rehabilitation, or PMR, using more lucrative and inappropriate diagnostic codes. The PMR therapy was provided purportedly to treat mostly elderly female patients with fecal or urinary incontinence, primarily in the greater Traverse City, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Beckering said Beyer's practice manager Mark Sabor devised the scheme. Sabor pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court in December 2019. Sabor will be sentenced on May 27, 2020.

Wright admitted to knowing about the billing irregularities but not telling authorities. The misprision charge carries a maximum of a three year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine, according to court documents. The adulteration charge could result in up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

As part of the plea agreement, Wright and Beyer agreed to cooperate in any future federal investigations.

Beyer could face up to a total of 11 years in federal prison. Wright could face a maximum of four years in prison.

As part of a separate civil settlements, Beyer and Wright reached an agreement to repay the government, Beckering said. The payment amount was not available in court documents, but records showed the total fraud loss totaled between $550,000 and $1 million.

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The U.S. Justice Department encouraged patients who might have been billed fraudulently to visit the U.S. Attorney Office's website for more information, or to call Kathy Schuette, victim witness coordinator, at 616-808-2034.

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