Physicians and fraud: 5 cases to know

Here are six physicians who have been involved or are allegedly involved in healthcare fraud cases reported by Becker's in November:

1. A Springdale, Ark.-based psychiatrist and former head of Arkansas' state medical board was charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, according to the state attorney general's office. From Jan. 1 to April 29, 2022, Brian Hyatt, MD, allegedly made more than $300,000 in false Medicaid claims while working as medical director of the behavioral health unit at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale.

2.  Desi Barroga, MD, and Deno Barroga, MD, were charged in a $12 million healthcare fraud scheme, according to the Justice Department. While operating a pain management clinic in Dallas, the pair allegedly submitted fraudulent claims to their patients' insurance companies for dozens of corticosteroid injections, while the patients only received few or no injections.

3. David Nourian and Christopher Rydberg, who owned and operated three pharmacies in Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas, and Michael Taba, MD, were convicted for their role in a $145 million healthcare fraud, money laundering and tax evasion scheme. The pharmacy owners conspired with Dr. Taba and other physicians to prescribe medically unnecessary compound creams to injured federal workers, after which the pharmacy owners allegedly paid Dr. Taba for referring the medication to be filled by their pharmacies.

4. Tommy Louisville, MD, ​​a Tampa, Fla.-based physician, pleaded guilty to unlawful drug distribution, wire fraud and making false statements related to healthcare. In May 2019, Dr. Louisville became ineligible to prescribe controlled substances after he was suspended from practicing medicine for two years. He continued to issue controlled substances, concealed from Medicare that he was not authorized to issue prescriptions and shuttered his medical business in November 2019. He later used his closed business to fraudulently obtain $33,034 in a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan.

5. Oakland, Calif.-based physician Henry Watson, MD, was convicted for accepting kickbacks for patient referrals, healthcare fraud and false statements. From 2013 to 2019, Dr. Watson engaged in three healthcare schemes in which he earned kickbacks.

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