Texas Health Care Law Blog

Convicted Texas physician seeks earlier sentencing date

Attorneys for a Texas physician convicted in January in a $325 million health care fraud scheme requested this month for an earlier sentencing date for Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada. A jury found the disgraced physician guilty of seven counts of health care fraud and one count each of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. An initial sentencing date was scheduled in March 2021.

According to the federal indictment, Zamora-Quezada operated his illicit plan since 2000, targeting patients who were elderly, disabled and some as young as 13. The physician intentionally misdiagnosed patients who had rheumatoid arthritis and other degenerative diseases. He then overtreated them through chemotherapy and other unnecessary drugs. Some of Zamora-Quezada’s patients testified that the false diagnoses, lengthy intravenous infusions and chemotherapy led to physical and emotional harm.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your nursing license

When it comes time for your initial nursing license application or renewal, you will be asked questions about your criminal history. These questions are not unique to the nursing profession. Many people with professional licenses go through a similar process.

The purpose of these questions is not to determine whether you are a “good” or “bad” person. However, when you’re caring for the public, it’s important that people place a high-level of trust in your profession.

Challenges faced by campus health care facilities

For years, health care facilities throughout the nation’s college campuses have treated students for numerous illnesses and injuries. And for years, many of these students and their families have complained about them.

Increasingly, student health care facilities have come under scrutiny, while significant problems surface at a number of them. With accusations of misdiagnosis, inadequate training and outdated equipment, it is no wonder that some people question how campus health care facilities will be able to handle the COVID-19 pandemic for the upcoming school year.

Do not let substance abuse abscond with your health care license

For years, you led a double life, and no one knew about it. Not even your spouse. As a well-respected physician, you helped people, did your best to solve their health problems and guided them through their most challenging journeys. But you also had a substance abuse problem. It did not affect your job, or so you thought.

The signs were there, though. Irritability, changes in personality, difficulty with work-related matters, having trouble getting along with colleagues, and sloppiness in your work. It all came crashing down when a fellow physician uncovered an egregious error on your part, and quickly remedied it. You have been exposed as an alcoholic and prescription drug addict. Now, the Texas Medical Board intervenes, and you face disciplinary action and the loss of your professional license.

Steps to take to help your health care practice avoid fraud

Our nation’s health care system has grown more complicated. And with these complexities come increased chances for illegal and negligent activity within health care organizations. With this in mind, health care providers must take it upon themselves to prevent fraudulent activity before it happens.

Your practice, employees, livelihood and reputation must be protected. If not, you could lose all of them as well as your professional license. Crucial safeguards in place can help prevent illegal activities, so you need to be pro-active.

What is health care fraud?

In a perfect world, sick people would get the help they need, and no one would have to worry about the cost. The reality is, health care is a business. Like any business, a health care provider should expect reimbursement for providing their services.

There’s nothing wrong with pursuing what you’re entitled to through an insurance or Medicaid claim. However, a careless or inattentive approach could result in you facing charges of health care fraud.

Dallas dentist ordered to pay $12 million for Medicaid fraud

In a Medicaid fraud case that has lasted for more than a decade, disgraced Dallas dentist Richard Malouf must pay Texas an estimated $12 million. In a major government rip-off, Malouf fraudulently billed Medicaid for dental services that were provided by another dentist.

The founder of orthodontist chain All Smiles Dental Center, Malouf made more than 1,800 false billings. The Texas Office of the Attorney General made the announcement on May 14. The federal investigation into Malouf's business began in 2008 related to services provided to patients.

Doctors, nurses face severe disciplinary actions for misconduct

Health care professionals have always been in high demand, but even more so during the current COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world. But even in times like these, some doctors and nurses face disciplinary actions that could lead to professional sanctions, including practice-related restrictions, suspensions and loss of their license.

As a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse or other health care professional, you worked diligently and with integrity to obtain and maintain your license, while helping patients recover from maladies that drastically affected their lives. But, now, you face a different kind of malady, fighting for your reputation and attempting to deflect any personal, financial and career consequences that come with it. When facing regulatory agencies, you must understand that the stakes are high.

HIPAA violations could put your medical license at risk

The Code of Ethics that many medical professionals adhere to covers a wide range of issues. They require medical professionals to provide the best possible care to every patient, be professional and protect a patient’s privacy.

Parts of this code also became federal law when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) passed. This law established the Privacy Rule, which protects patients’ health information.

Even good-faith billing errors often quickly pay fines

A Massachusetts hospital recently settled a federal lawsuit over allegations that it billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary tests.

But to many, tests like these may seem easy to order accidentally or without knowing they could be medically unnecessary. That is, a good-faith error may mean unnecessary tests and it is common for medical providers to pay the fines without a fight.

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