Missouri Chiropractor Pleads Guilty To Submitting Falsified Medical Examiner Certificates to FMCSA
On July 11, 2016, Ranee Roberts was charged and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, St. Louis, MO, on charges of health-care fraud and falsification of records relating to commercial drivers’ licenses.
Roberts, a doctor of chiropractic medicine, owned West Plains Family Chiropractic in West Plains, MO, and was certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as a medical examiner. The FMCSA certification allowed Dr. Roberts to complete medical examiner certificates certifying an applicant’s fitness to drive commercial vehicles and submit the certificates to FMCSA electronically. FMCSA develops medical regulations to ensure commercial motor vehicle drivers engaged in interstate commerce are physically qualified to do so. Dr. Roberts was the only person qualified to perform medical examinations at West Plains Family Chiropractic.
From approximately May 2014 to May 2015, Dr. Roberts knowingly falsified and submitted medical examiner’s certificates to FMCSA. Dr. Roberts directed her administrative office staff to perform parts of the medical examiner’s certificate examination, although she knew they were not FMCSA-certified and had not received training on the proper administration of the tests. Several parts of the examination that unqualified staff performed at Dr. Roberts’ direction were tests that could potentially disqualify a driver.
Roberts’ staff members were directed to write the results of the testing on Post-it notes and attach them the examination form. Dr. Roberts changed test results that were not in the passing range when she conducted the physical examinations. On some occasions, Dr. Roberts submitted certificates to FMCSA prior to examining the driver. Dr. Roberts provided the drivers with copies of the fraudulent certificates, and the drivers in turn provided them to their employers.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation jointly with the Health and Human Services OIG.