Mission Hills couple plead guilty to federal health care fraud, tax charges

Two Mission Hills residents have pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud and false tax return charges, and are facing prison time and probation as a result.

Carol Ann Ryser
On Saturday, Carol Ann Ryser, 76, and Michael Earl Ryser, 68, closed their Health Centers of America-Kansas City medical clinic as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Ryser, the clinic’s medical director and a doctor who specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions, also surrendered her medical license.

The Rysers admitted to “upcoding” medical reimbursement claims submitted to health insurance companies and government health programs like Medicare. The federal indicted described billings of $359,168 on actual reimbursable charges of $51,789.

The Rysers also admitted to substantially understating gross receipts and overstating expenses in their 2006 tax returns. The indictment included charges of understating receipts by more than $2 million, and overstating expenses by more than $9 million. The result was a federal tax loss of $615,749.

Michael Ryser, who served as the company’s CEO and chief administrator, will be sentenced to 24-30 months in federal prison without possibility of parole. Carol Ryser will serve three years on probation including six months of home detention.

A patient accused the Rysers of overdiagnosing illnesses in 2009, claiming they “preyed on the sick.”