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Proposal would help rein in podiatrist who admitted insurance lie

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A proposed Wisconsin bill goes after a podiatrist who admits telling patients that their treatments are covered by insurance when they’re really not.

Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Fred Kessler wants to avoid a repeat of what John Lanham has admitted doing.

The Milwaukee area foot-doctor tells the Journal Sentinel that he told patients he’s in their insurance network when they’re really not. It forced them to pay high bills, and Lanham got business he might not have otherwise received from those not covered.

Kessler told the paper he’s offended by Lanham’s, “arrogance.”

Lanham said his survival hinged on what he called the “ignorance” of patients who don’t know the details of their insurance coverage.

The Journal Sentinel said Lanham was the target of 92 complaints to the state – but officials rejected all of them, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

A state group of podiatrists objects to Kessler’s proposal. Steven Frydman of the Wisconsin Society of Pediatric Medicine says Kessler – a former judge – is wrong to single out foot doctors, condemning all of them for the actions of one.

Frydman blames the state Department of Safety and Professional Services for not being aggressive enough in stopping Lanham.