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Florida podiatrists are suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying the federal agency has "illegally" demanded that foot doctors repay up to $5.5 million they got from Medicare for cutting and scraping corns and calluses.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on April 14, names HHS Secretary Donna Shalala as a defendant. It asks for declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorney's fees.
Plaintiffs named in the complaint are Pinellas County podiatrist Dr. James Stelnicki, two other podiatrists and the Florida Podiatric Medical Association. The suit seeks class-action status for podiatrists.
The podiatrists say federal authorities changed billing rules in mid-1996 and are now …