Physicians with Criminal Behavior: 4 Bad Doctor News Stories from February 2015
I have to admit that this is one of my least favorite topics to write about, but it’s why we are committed to protecting patients from harm through thorough and comprehensive background screening at PreCheck. Although we are only in the second week of February, I read enough stories about bad doctors in the news across the country that I decided to write this article. While the majority of physicians care about their patients, the following four cases prove that some are capable of engaging in some pretty serious criminal behavior. One of these physicians is facing no less than twelve felonies.
‘Catch-Me-If-You-Can’ Fake Doctor Imprisoned 17 Years for Medicare Fraud
According to a February 5 article in the Miami Herald, Alejandra Collazo posed as a doctor for several years at her medical clinic, using the stolen identities of actual physicians to write 2,200 phony prescription referrals to home healthcare agencies that paid her kickbacks for patients. Collazo’s scam cost the federal Medicare program $8.5 million. “She was holding herself out as a doctor, a nurse and a nurse practitioner,” stated prosecutor Kevin Larsen in the news story.
Missouri Family Practice Doctor Arrested in Underage Sex Sting
Doctor Donald W. Lamoureaux, a family practice doctor in southern Missouri, was recently arrested in an underage sex sting. According to a February 7 article from the Inquisitr, the 68-year-old doctor is charged with federal criminal charges, including online enticement of a minor and traveling to meet a minor. An undercover officer from the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force posed as a single mother online and began talking with Dr. Lamoureaux. During their conversations, the doctor expressed an interest in having sexual relations with a girl under the age of 10. The undercover officer setup a meeting a local hotel in which she would allow him to engage in “sexual activities” with her four-year-old daughter.
Southfield Doctor Accused of Trading Drugs for Sex, Money
Doctor John Ronald Verbovsky, an osteopathic physician in Southfield, Michigan, has been charged with a dozen felonies after investigators say he prescribed narcotics to his patients in exchange for sex and money. According to a February 4 article in the Detroit Free Press, Dr. Verbovsky will be back in court on February 20 to face a dozen felony charges, including criminal sexual misconduct, racketeering, drug dealing and Medicaid fraud. “Physicians are supposed to heal their patients, not exploit them,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in a news release.
Golden Valley Health Centers Doctor Accused of Placing Camera in Patient Restroom
A Golden Valley Health Centers pediatrician was recently arrested on suspicion of placing a remote camera inside a unisex patient restroom at a Golden Valley Health Centers clinic in Merced, California. According to a February 3 article in the Merced Sun-Star, Dr. Carlos Teran Miranda was arrested after a parent discovered the hidden camera inside a flower arrangement and took the device to the administration and also notified the police. Detectives seized enough evidence to arrest Dr. Teran Miranda on suspicion of possession of child pornography. “We are saddened that the integrity of our hardworking staff has been called into question based on the alleged acts of one individual,” stated Tony Weber, Golden Valley Health Centers CEO, in a news release.
As Weber mentioned in the news release, it only takes one bad individual to damage a healthcare employer’s reputation. With serious criminal charges such as the ones in the aforementioned cases, an ongoing background screening program can help mitigate a considerable amount of risk and help protect patients and staff from harm.
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