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Thread: Copes Method,Quackery?

  1. #1
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    Sep 2003
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    Copes Method,Quackery?

    I was looking for something else when I came upon a web site for info on dubious methods of medical treatment. One of the methods being investigated is the Copes Method. They are looking for persons who have experience, positive or negative with the program.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/

    http://www.quackwatch.org/search/we...amp;query=Copes

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  2. #2
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    Talking Copes treatment closed

    Here is a recent excerpt from Quackwatch:Proprietor of dubious scoliosis clinic charged with insurance fraud.


    Arthur L. Copes, who has owned and operated the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for many years, has been arrested on 117 counts of insurance fraud for his alleged involvement in a medical billing insurance scam and for practicing medicine without a license. Copes has developed a back brace and treatment system that he claims is successful in the treatment of scoliosis. Attorney General Special Agents who investigated Copes's activities have alleged:

    Even though Copes performed all of the treatment, he submitted numerous bills to insurance companies using the names and signatures of licensed chiropractors, without their knowledge and in many cases long after they had left the clinic.

    Patients were charged a large sum of money, up to $10,000 in one case, and advised that their insurance company would cover a certain percentage of the cost of the treatment. The insurance companies were fraudulently billed more than $138,000 [1].

    The clinic is now closed. If convicted, Copes faces a possible sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine per count on the charges of insurance fraud. The possible sentence for practicing medicine without a license includes a fine not more than $3,000 or prison for not more than three months, or both, and each day a violation continues is considered a separate offense. The Louisiana Attorney General has invited people with relevant information to contact his office at 1-800-256-4506. [Owner of Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System in Baton Rouge surrenders to Attorney General Special Agents. Louisiana Attorney General news release, Feb 23, 2006] http://www.ag.state.la.us/ViewPressRel.aspx?RelID=449 Copes, who refers to himself as "Dr. Copes," has a Ph.D. in orthotics from nonaccredited Columbia Pacific University, which was closed by court order in 2001. Barrett S. Court orders Columbia Pacific University to cease operating illegally in California. Quackwatch, revised, Feb 26, 2006] http://www.quackwatch.org/04Consumer.../News/cpu.html Copes's Scoliosis Treatment Advanced Recovery System ("STARS") is less effective and far more expensive than standard methods of scoliosis treatment. [Barrett S. "Dr." Arthur Copes arrested for insurance fraud. Quackwatch, Feb 27, 2006] http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/copes.html

    ###
    I wonder how many gullible scoliosis patients were taken in by this.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
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    wow! I'm glad someone caught that dude because it's so sick to take advantage of people like that! I've heard of a few people on the scoliosis-support forum using copes and like no one was happy with the results, it definetly sounds like a scam.
    ~Leelee ♪
    [-] 17 years old
    _[-] 12th grade
    [-] scoliosis, 45T and 42 L
    _[-] kyphosis, 67*
    [-] Boston brace for 4 years
    _[-] Stopped 6/8/05 at 4:32 PM

  4. #4
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    As you may know, this is something which I've been following closely for years. (I was the one who sent the arrest info to QuackWatch).

    I know of at least a few patients who paid more than $20,000 in braces, nutritional supplements, electrical stimulation treatments, chiropractic treatments, etc.

    --Linda

  5. #5
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    Last year I had gone so far as to contact their office and had them send me an information packet. I was on the verge of seeking a consultation because I was desperately hoping that my son's scoli could be corrected without surgery. I asked for input on this procedure on this forum and was cautioned by Linda and for that I have to say THANK YOU for helping me and others to not be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous person. Keep up the good work!

    Renee

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    I always knew he was guilty. I hope that they throw the book at him, and that his experience serves as a warning to the other charlatans looking to capitalize on others' misery.

    http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/25991844.html





    Copes found guilty of insurance fraud




    By BILL LODGE
    Advocate staff writer
    Published: Jul 28, 2008 - UPDATED: 12:27 p.m.

    Judge Anthony Marabella convicted Baton Rouge businessman Arthur Copes on eight of nine insurance-fraud charges Monday.

    Marabella said several of Copes’ former patients testified credibly when they said the 51-year-old who operated a clinic that provided scoliosis braces and other services was the only person who they dealt with prior to receiving X-rays — procedures that require approval from a licensed medical professional.

    Copes testified during trial last week that he neither practices medicine without a license nor bills insurers for procedures that weren’t approved by medical professionals.

    “The court found his testimony to be very manipulative,” Marabella said Monday.

    Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 12. Possible penalties range from probation to 40 years in prison

  8. #8
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
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    I always wondered about this, because when I was a teen, we did a lot of internet research on scoliosis trying to find alternatives to surgery. My chiropractor suggested the copes foundation as a good place to look. In the back of my mind, I always had the question, could this have worked?
    So, although terrible news that he was a crook, it is also a bit of a relief that I chose surgery. Plus, the cost of travelling from NZ all the way to america to undergo treatment was prohibitave, although do-able just if it was worth it. Thank goodness we didn't.
    Aside from him being a crim, is there any evidence that his method worked? I am going to flick back to the posts now and follow the links to CNN etc and find out more.
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
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    Ok, answered my question after looking at the articles. That is so awful, as if scoli isn't tough enough, than to be offered false hope and expense. It makes you sick. So no, his methods didn't work and offered more harm than good. It made intuitive sense when I was looking at it at the time, that counter-pressure would straighten you out. Maybe not for my 70degree curve! I'm fuming.
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    I always knew he was guilty. I hope that they throw the book at him, and that his experience serves as a warning to the other charlatans looking to capitalize on others' misery.
    AMEN!!

    I find it disgusting and disgraceful, as I'm sure you all do, that someone would try to prosper from patients and parents desparate to avoid surgery, as Renee mentioned above.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

  11. #11
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    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  12. #12
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
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    Hi everyone. Linda I just read this thread and want to say thankyou so very much. There were a lot of people who were taken in by him and because you actually did something, others will be protected .

    Macky
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    This is really great. I was referred to Copes by someone here in Seattle. But when I called them - my son was only about 6 years old - as soon as I expressed hesitation regarding their program, the salesman on the phone became very negative and manipulative with me. He said that if I didn't follow their program, my son would be having surgery recommended by the time he was 8 years old. I got a really bad feeling from them...
    Laurie

    Mother of Alexander & Zachary:
    Alex is 16 years old and in the 11th grade. He has congenital scoliosis due to a hemivertebrae at T10. Wore a TLSO brace for 3 1/2 years. Pre-op curves were T45 & L65; curves post-op are approx. T31 & L34. Had a posterior spinal fusion from T8 to L3 on 7/12/07 at age 12. Doing great now in so many ways, but still working on improving posture.
    Zach is 13 years old and very energetic.

  14. #14
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    Northern California
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    Sometimes the justice system works!

    Ex-clinic owner in BR gets 3 years in insurance fraud



    The former owner of a now-defunct Baton Rouge scoliosis treatment clinic has been sentenced to three years in prison at hard labor for insurance fraud.

    State District Judge Anthony Marabella, who convicted Arthur Copes in July, also ordered the 51-year-old brace designer to pay $30,000 in fines and make full restitution to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and to several former patients.

    Assistant State Attorney General Butch Wilson said the restitution will total about $100,000.

    Copes, who is not a medical doctor, testified last summer that he neither practiced medicine without a license nor billed insurers for procedures that were not approved by medical professionals. Copes also testified he did not know why staff members at his former clinic billed insurers for procedures that needed to be approved by a licensed medical professional.

    “Mr. Copes, you don’t get it. I fear you will continue to do this if I don’t take drastic action,’’ Marabella said Thursday.

    “The harm is what you might do because of your lack of qualifications and licensing.’’

    Copes’ attorney, Ed Gonzales, said he hopes Copes is remembered for the good work he has done “and not for the failings that the court found.’’

    Gonzales said he will appeal Copes’ convictions on eight counts of insurance fraud if Copes authorizes him to do so.

    Gonzales characterized the state’s case against Copes as billing errors misconstrued as criminal.

    The Attorney General’s Office contends Copes allegedly treated patients at his clinic, then sent bills to insurance companies indicating the patients had been treated by a licensed chiropractor.

    The Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System Clinic on Picardy Avenue had closed by the time Copes was arrested in February 2006.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2005
    Posts
    402
    Bl**dy well done for all your work in getting this fraudster on Quackwatch Linda! I also know people who have been ripped off by him. I've posted this info on scoliosis-support.org too.

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