Sunday 25 October 2020

Alternative medicine testing lab directors arrested for fraud

The two directors of a medical laboratory which specialises in testing blood, saliva and urine for alternative therapists have been arrested on suspicion of defrauding health insurers of €9.5m.

The Europees Laboratorium voor Nutriënten in Bunnik was set up in 1993 to carry out blood, urine, saliva and faeces testing which other labs will not take on – namely for alternative healthcare providers such as homeopaths, the Volkskrant says.

Once the results are in, alternative therapists can provide vitamins and other treatment for shortcomings which the lab has identified.

Forgery

On Tuesday police arrested Emar V (69) and his business partner Jacques T (74) on charges of defrauding insurance companies of millions of euros, as well as money laundering and forgery.

Health insurer Achmea raised the alarm after noting that ‘a large number of similar blood tests were being invoiced for’. Blood tests are only insured if requested by family doctors, but the insurance company was invoiced for tests by alternative therapists.

Achmea discovered thousands of tests – some costing several hundred euros – were being invoiced without family doctor approval.

Court

Achmea has already tried to recover some €1.4bm from ELN in the courts and that legal process is still ongoing. In the meantime, a formal investigation has begun.

The public prosecution department suspects the two have managed to obtain up to €9.5m from health insurers for their tests since 2007.

‘The suspects would appear to have become rich on some of that insurance money,’ the Volkskrant quotes the department as saying. Police have also seized bank accounts, a luxury camper and a car.

‘Blood is checked for up to 30 different things,’ said Cees Renckens, of the Dutch association against quack medicine. ‘If you check for so many things, you are bound to find something in every person. That is quite normal.’

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