A Center City dentist and his daughter have been charged with trying to bilk insurance companies out of $5 million, District Attorney Seth Williams said today.
Dr. Owen Rogal, 71, and Kim Rogal, 50, operated The Pain Center at 12th and Lombard streets, which treats patients for severe and chronic pain. Authorities claim that between 2002 and 2011, the Rogals attempted to defraud 15 insurance companies by falsely billing them for a complex medical procedure which the center did not perform. The charges were the result of a 15-month grand jury investigation.
Police arrested the two this morning and charged them with one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal conspiracy, 15 counts of insurance fraud, 12 counts of theft by deception and 10 counts of attempted theft by deception. Prosecutors said the motivation was greed.
"The reasons the grand jury found that the Rogals billed for this was that it made more money," said Assistant District Attorney Vicki Markovitz, who's prosecuting the case. "The bigger picture is that medical billing fraud actually ends up costing everybody … in higher premiums."
Insurers repeatedly told the Rogals not to bill for the highly costly procedure, but they ignored the warnings, Markovitz said. Of the more than $5 million billed to insurance companies, they received more than $1 million. If convicted, they face a maximum of 317 years in prison.
Prosecutors said the Center, which is open a few days a week, will likely be closed as a result of the charges. They also said the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be filed.