(AP) An insurer says California insurance regulators are investigating Lap-Band surgery centers for possible fraud. Connecticut-based Aetna, Inc. says it is cooperating in the probe by the law enforcement branch of the state Department of Insurance. The insurer says the state is investigating alleged fraud against Aetna health plan members by the 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgery centers.
Department of Insurance spokesman David Althausen wouldn't confirm or deny there was a state investigation. The Los Angeles Times says the state probe joins local and federal agencies investigating the businesses behind the billboard, radio and television advertising for the surgeries.
The Food and Drug Administration, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Congress are examining alleged misleading advertising and risks of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery. 1-800-GET-THIN marketing president Robert Silverman denies insurance fraud allegations.