Physician duo pleads guilty to $45M healthcare fraud scheme

A pair of pain management physicians in Dallas each pleaded guilty to a healthcare billing scheme that defrauded major insurers of at least $45 million.

Desi Barroga, MD, and Deno Barroga, MD, both 51, submitted fraudulent claims for corticosteroid injections that were never administered, according to a May 21 news release from the Justice Department. They also required patients to come in for monthly office visits in order to continue the fraudulent billing, submitting fraudulent claims worth at least $45 million to payers including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and United Healthcare for injections that were never administered, as many as 80 injections per patient per visit. They also created and submitted false medical records and told patients to include false statements to validate their claims, each earning at least $9 million.

Both of the defendants pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and face up to 10 years each in prison, according to the release. Both surrendered their DEA registration and agreed to forfeit their medical licenses at least 14 days before sentencing and to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date.

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