A surgeon's assistant and technologist who submitted $4.1 million in bogus bills to five insurance companies was sentenced Friday to one year in prison.
Kenneth Welling, of Lake Forest Park and who owns the Shoreline-based Alpine Surgical Services, admitted to investigators that he intentionally filed false claims of work he had completed to get money from the insurance companies.
From 2004 to 2011, Welling filed $4.1 million in bills to insurance companies for work he never performed, the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner said. He received $460,000.
Investigators became aware of the situation when a woman began receiving bills from her insurance company for surgeries she did not have. After contacting the hospital for written verification that she was not at the hospital during the times indicated on the bills and that she also did not have any surgery at that time, she and her husband contacted the insurance commissioner's office who then conducted an investigation.
In other instances, investigators discovered that Welling listed himself the doctor conducting the fake surgeries.
Insurance Commission Mike Kreidler said that Welling only pretended to be a doctor when submitting bills and that there is no evidence to indicate that anyone's medical care was compromised.