DALLAS (CBS News Texas) – Two North Texas doctors have been charged with submitting fake medical claims and unlawfully distributing hydrocodone, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Desi Barroga, 51, and Deno Barroga, 51, were indicted on Nov. 14 on one count each of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, five counts each of healthcare fraud and one count each of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. They could both face up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, the doctors operated a pain management clinic in Dallas where patients received prescriptions for high doses of hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine.
Patients would make a short office visit each month and receive their prescriptions. As part of those monthly visits, the doctors would submit fraudulent claims to the patients' insurance companies, saying the patients received dozens of corticosteroid injections, when the patients actually received few injections or none at all. Corticosteroid is a class of steroid medication.
Doctors would place a needle on the patient's body without actually piercing the skin to mimic an injection, USAO says. If patients actually received any injections, they would receive only a small amount.
In many of the reports, the defendants falsely represented that they provided over 80 injections to the patient on a single date of service. Fake medical records were also created to coincide with the fake injections.
The doctors billed health care benefit programs over $50 million and were paid approximately $12 million for these fraudulent services.
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