Texas pain physicians charged in $12M fraud scheme

Spine

Two Texas-based pain physicians have been charged in a $12 million fraud scheme and accused of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, accoring to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Texas.

Desi Barroga, MD, and Deno Barroga, MD, operators of a Dallas-based pain clinic, were indicted Nov. 14. They are accused of submitting false claims to patients' insurance companies for corticosteroid injections that weren't performed.

"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 only receive a small amount," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Texas.

In multiple instances, the physicians billed for more than 80 injections to a patient on a single date of service. They also allegedly entered injections that weren't performed into the patients' medical records.

The physicians allegedly billed $50 million to healthcare benefit programs and received $12 million for fraudulent services, according to the statement.

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