2 Dallas doctors face federal fraud charges in $12 million insurance scheme

Two doctors who ran a pain management clinic in Dallas were arrested last week and accused of making millions of dollars through an insurance scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Deno Barroga and Desi Barroga, both 51, were arrested Thursday and appeared in court the next day, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release Monday.

Deno and Desi Barroga each face one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, five counts of health care fraud and one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, the release said.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges, court records show.

According to their indictment, the two doctors are accused of submitting “false and fraudulent claims to their patients’ insurance companies” related to corticosteroid injections. They are also accused of creating “false medical records” to show the procedure was administered, court documents state.

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“However, in many cases, the defendants did not actually administer the injections and instead placed a need on the patient’s body without actually piercing the skin to simulate an injection and applied topical lidocaine,” the indictment states.

The two doctors are accused of billing health benefit programs, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and United Healthcare, $50 million and were paid about $12 million, according to court records.

Desi Barroga’s medical license, issued in December 2006, expires in August 2024, according to the Texas Medical Board website. Deno Barroga’s license as a physician was issued in August 2005 and is set to expire in August 2025. Their primary practice address is listed as a location in the 7500 block of Greenville Avenue, in northeast Dallas, according to the medical board’s website.

Each person has come to the attention of the Texas Medical Board before.

In June 2021, Desi Baroga entered a “non-disciplinary” treatment plan after the Texas Medica board found that he “failed to maintain an adequate medical record showing adequate patient history, examination details and his medical rationale for prescribing controlled substances, including fentanyl patches, to one patient,” the website shows.

“Dr [Desi] Barroga neither admits nor denies the findings, but has agreed to the remedial plan to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation,” the medical board website said in a description. Eventually he completed the necessary plan.

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In March 2016, Deno Barroga was ordered to pay a $3,000 administrative fine after the state medical board found that he “prescribed non-therapeutically controlled substances and other drugs to multiple patients,” according to the board’s website.

The board also requires his practice to be supervised by another physician for “12 consecutive cycles of supervision” and to complete a physician prescribing course, in addition to 12 hours of continuing medical education in medical record keeping and pharmacology, the website shows.

A few years later, in March 2020, he agreed to take a record-keeping course after the board found records for two patients were inadequate. Deno Barroga eventually met “all requirements” in both cases, the medical board’s website states.

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