Local doctor continues fight for practice after being accused of fraud


McKENZIE, Tenn. — A local doctor continues his fight to keep seeing the patients he has treated for years.

Dr. Bryan Merrick

Dr. Bryan Merrick says Medicare expelled him from the program, falsely accusing him of fraud.

“I have an obligation to my patients,” he said. “I have 20- to 30-year relationships with them, and you can’t just walk away from that.”

It’s a fight this small-town doctor says he won’t give up on.

“I’m going to continue to work hard here, and if I need to go back to Washington, I will,” Dr. Merrick said.

Dr. Merrick has worked for the McKenzie Medical Center for more than 30 years. But his ability to see many of his elderly patients is in limbo after Medicare accused him of billing 10 patients he did not see. They’re mistakes Dr. Merrick says are nothing more than clerical errors.

Those at the medical center say Dr. Merrick is one of only two certified internal medicine physicians in all of Carroll County.

“For them to have to start over and find another doctor is going to be very hard, and some of them just won’t do it,” said David Johnson, a counselor for the medical center.

Former state Sen. Roy Herron says he’s taking Dr. Merrick’s case to our elected state officials.

He along with Dr. Merrick already met with Congressman David Kustoff twice, hoping a letter the congressman sent to Medicare will shed light on the problem.

“If somebody with CMS sees this, they will realize this is a tragedy,” Herron said.

Dr. Merrick says even though he is not getting paid for the Medicare patients he’s currently seeing, it’s a small price to pay to help his patients and other physicians.

“Maybe we can help other physicians out there and just help the overall system,” he said.

Congressman Kustoff sent WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News this statement regarding Dr. Merrick’s situation:

“It is disappointing that government overreach continues to prevent cases like Dr. Merrick’s from being resolved in a timely manner. I understand what a damaging impact a 3-year suspension will have on the Carroll County community, which is why my office and I will continue to do everything we can within our legal and ethical boundaries.”

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