The Whistleblower blog was started in 2008. Look for posts by these contributors: James Eli Shiffer, Jane Friedmann, Brandon Stahl, Eric Roper and Alejandra Matos. | Check out the Whistleblower archive.
The Star Tribune's journalists need your help blowing the whistle in Minnesota. Contact us here.
A podiatrist who has a history of professional disciplinary action and has been sued seven times for malpractice since 1997 had his license revoked recently, according to an order made public by the Minnesota Board of Podiatric Medicine Thursday.
Starting in 2006, Robert S. Mullin, of Minnetonka, used incorrect coding to bill Medica and Healthpartners for more than two hundred procedures not normally covered by the providers. When confronted, Mullin failed to repay more than $93,000 it had wrongly collected from the providers.
When the providers began offsetting their losses by refusing to reimburse future claims by Mullin, the podiatrist sent out 470 "demand letters" to patients, claiming they were liable for paying him in lieu of their providers, the order said. The letter made false statements and roughly 250 of the patients had never even had the procedure done, according to the board.
In May, 2011 the Star Tribune wrote about Mullin's June 2005 disciplinary order by the board, which stated that Mullin failed to return credit balances in a timely manner, engaged in misleading advertising, performed hammertoe surgeries in which too much bone was removed, and other misconduct.
Have you ever found a unauthorized third-party charge thrown onto your cell phone bill? Do you have some expertise or opinion on the practice, called mobile cramming?
The Federal Trade Commission is planning a "roundtable" discussion on May 8 to explore the subject and how to best protect consumers. The meeting will bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives and government regulators.
The commission is asking for input from the public in advance of the meeting. Click here to read more.
Star Tribune article: Don't become a cramming victim.
Star Tribune article: Klobuchar: Stop shady phone bill charges
The Minnesota Department of Revenue is warning of a new scam targeting taxpayers who have already filed their returns. The scammers are calling people and asking for banking and other personal information they say is needed in order to issue a larger refund. The group has been identifying itself as "Minnesota Revenue."
"The department never calls taxpayers and asks for personal information to send or increase a refund," the department said in a news release.
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