The once-booming acupuncture clinic Absolute Integrated Medicine remains open for business, although it’s not clear if owner Jill Jaynes, who is facing multiple charges of fraud and racketeering in connection with its operation, is still involved.
When Jaynes was let out on $455,000 bond three weeks ago, Judge Robert Pegg made it a condition of her release that she “not practice acupuncture . . . not return to Absolute Integrated Medicine . . . [and not] be in the acupuncture business.”
Despite that order, the business is operating and Jaynes’ name is still on the business license at Vero Beach City Hall.
“We are still open for business,” an employee at Absolute Integrated Medicine confirmed in a phone call. The employee, who would not give her name, directed all further questions to attorney Brooke Butler, who is representing Jaynes.
Butler previously said she believed Pegg’s release conditions would require Jaynes to shut down her practice. When she asked for clarification at the Aug. 24 bond hearing, Pegg told her that Jaynes is “not to be in the acupuncture business, period.”
“What about calls to patients?” Butler asked, noting that Jaynes needed to wrap things up at her practice.
“They’ll figure it out,” Pegg responded.
Jaynes’ clinic employs several other licensed acupuncturists and an office manager who oversees day-to-day operations. Jaynes also has at least one family member who is employed at the clinic. It’s not known whether they are working independently of Jaynes or still reporting to her, or if the current situation violates the terms of Jaynes’ bond.
“My bond settings have not changed since I set them,” Pegg said in a terse statement to Vero Beach 32963 when queried about the matter.
Neither Jaynes nor Butler have responded to phone calls or emails since the bond hearing.
Jaynes’ troubles began in December 2016 when Suzanne Boyll, the county’s human resources director, noticed the county’s health-insurance plan paid out more than $1.1 million to one local acupuncture practice – Jaynes’ Absolute Integrated Medicine – from October 2015 through September 2016. The money paid to Absolute was far more than to any other non-hospital healthcare provider during that period.
County officials said Jaynes was attracting so many customers because she was waiving patient co-pays – essentially offering them free services, while billing the county and Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield, which insures county employees, for $1.5 million.
Jaynes’ office was raided last October as part of a state investigation requested by the county. She was arrested at her office on Aug. 22 on charges that she conspired with others to defraud an insurance company by submitting false or incomplete information, illegally waived patient copayments and deductibles, and unlawfully paid others who referred patients for treatments.
Butler has called the allegations “inflated and exaggerated,” and said she plans to enter a not-guilty plea. Jaynes is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 26. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 135 years in prison and millions in fines, officials said.
After her arrest, Jaynes sat in jail for three days while her attorney attempted to get her initial $955,000 bail, set by County Circuit Judge David C. Morgan, reduced. Pegg agreed to lower Jaynes’ bail to $455,000, but added several more conditions, requiring Jaynes to give up her passport, wear a GPS monitor and “not be in the acupuncture business.”