When most people think of a medical malpractice claim, images of a botched surgery or missed diagnosis come to mind. However, some cases of Texas medical malpractice involve a doctor’s intentional conduct, not necessarily to harm his patients but to pad his own wallet.
Earlier this month, federal law enforcement authorities arrested a South Texas doctor (Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada) with offices in the San Antonio, Brownsville and Edinburg/McAllen areas on a seven-count indictment, alleging that the doctor engaged in a “massive fraud scheme that jeopardized the health and wellbeing of innocent children, elderly and disabled victims.” According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the doctor falsely diagnosed patients and performed unnecessary medical procedures – including injections and infusions of chemotherapy drugs such as methotrexate. The doctor also allegedly prescribed unnecessary medication to patients. Many of the medications he prescribed can have a harmful effect on healthy individuals. In order to justify these courses of treatment, authorities claim that the doctor falsified medical records, stating that patients claimed to have more pain than they reported to have.
The doctor practiced rheumatology in the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas, with offices in Brownsville, Edinburg, and San Antonio. He is alleged to have hidden medical records from other doctors who work with his patients, as well as from Medicare oversight. Authorities apparently located a dilapidated barn full of his patients’ medical records.