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Doctors in Dallas Pulled off Healthcare Fraud by Submitting Fake Claims for Injections; Here's How

Barroga Brothers from Dallas will Face Substantial Prison Sentences If Convicted in Healthcare Fraud Case
Image Source: Photo by Edward Jenner | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Edward Jenner | Pexels

Access to quality healthcare, which is also affordable, is considered one of the basic rights of human beings, but with a lot of money to be made, corruption and neglect often enter the picture, making way for scams. In the past few decades, malpractices in healthcare and fiascos such as the opioid epidemic have roched the United States. In a recent legal development, two doctors from North Texas, Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga, find themselves facing charges related to healthcare fraud. The allegations suggest that they received a substantial sum of around $12 million for services deemed fraudulent. They are accused of exploiting health insurance, which enables ordinary citizens to access medication without shelling out huge sums, for their own benefit.

Last week, the arrests of Doctors Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga brought attention to their involvement in a multi-million dollar scheme built on fake claims for injections that were never administered. The charges against the brothers include the conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, five counts of healthcare fraud each, and one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. These serious accusations point in the direction of a complex dubious scheme that was designed by the physicians.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, the Barroga duo ran a pain management clinic located in Dallas. Within this clinic, patients reportedly received prescriptions for substantial doses of hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine, as outlined in court documents.

Image Source: Photo by Charlie-Helen Robinson | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Charlie-Helen Robinson | Pexels

During monthly visits, patients allegedly submitted insurance claims asserting they had received numerous corticosteroid injections. However, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported that the doctors weren't giving patients the actual injections, but were just using a needle. This way, not only were they defrauding insurance firms, the doctors were also depriving patients of treatment.

"The doctors would place a needle on the patient’s body without actually piercing the skin to mimic an injection. If patients actually received any injections they would generally receive only a small amount,

The accusations go further to suggest that the doctors, in certain cases, informed insurance companies that they had administered over 80 injections to a single patient on a given date, a claim that was contradicted by court documents.

For these fraudulent services, which the doctors billed as health care benefit programs, and ultimately received a substantial sum of approximately $12 million in payment.

Image Source: Photo by Thirdman | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Thirdman | Pexels

The potential legal ramifications for the doctor duo are severe. If found guilty, the Barrogas could face up to 10 years in federal prison for each count of healthcare fraud and up to 20 years for the distribution of a controlled substance. The gravity of the charges shows the serious nature of the alleged actions and the potential consequences awaiting the accused doctors. It also sheds light on the negligence as well as the risk their actions posed for vulnerable patients. As opposed to the opioid crisis where patients were given medication that was addictive or wasn't meant for them, here the doctors didn't administer any medicine into the body, while submitting claims for it.