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Wed May 16, 2018, 08:20 AM

Doctor accused of fraud and misdiagnosing patients to fund 'opulent lifestyle'

Source: CNN

Zapata went to see Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada a little more than five years ago because one of her knees was bothering her. The rheumatologist told her that she had arthritis and that he'd give her injections "to strengthen the cartilage" in her knee, she said.

Her husband asked, "Why are you giving her so many injections?" The doctor reassured them that the treatment would help

But Zapata, 70, of McAllen, Texas, said the medication didn't help and might have been making things worse: There was discoloration on her legs. Other doctors raised concern about the treatments, and her family doctor even told her she didn't have arthritis.

Zapata was not the only patient given treatment she might not have needed, according to a joint federal and local investigation.

A task force investigating Zamora-Quezada announced Monday that he was being indicted in a fraud case involving $240 million in claims that were in part based on "fraudulent statements" to be submitted to health care benefit programs, resulting in $50 million paid to the doctor.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/15/health/texas-doctor-medical-fraud-bn/index.html

I have seen stories like this before, and two ideas stand out. The greed of these doctors is incredible. It has no end..All they want is "more
...Second, doctors who take the government's money in this way, or steal from the patients they treat, are sure that they will never get caught. The arrogance is beyond anything imaginable. If someone robs a bank, they have a feeling that they will likely get caught.
...These doctors and this one in particular, are sure no one will ever question what they do. They think the government is "too stupid" or "too busy" to even look at this. He is a doctor, why would he "lie" about treatment. No one will look into it this doctor thinks.
...I guess he is wrong on many counts.

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Reply Doctor accused of fraud and misdiagnosing patients to fund 'opulent lifestyle' (Original post)
Stuart G May 2018 OP
Perseus May 2018 #1
skypilot May 2018 #5
Aristus May 2018 #8
Stuart G May 2018 #2
harun May 2018 #6
hunter May 2018 #3
skypilot May 2018 #4
ck4829 May 2018 #7
nitpicker May 2018 #9

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2018, 08:49 AM

1. I hope everyone reads this and people stop treating doctors like gods

Always read the "side effects" of prescriptions, nowadays there are no "medicines", only "drugs", they don't cure they just hide the problem and the "side effects" can kill you.

During a stress test I had, although the doctor was marveled at my stamina, my physical condition, etc., he still decided I had to take some drugs for the rest of my life to control my "High Blood Pressure". At first I said "no", don't even think about prescribing it, but then I decided he should prescribe it so that I would know what he was recommending, and llok up the side effects.

When I got home I went on google and found out about the "side effects"...Internal Bleeding, Heart Failure, diarrhea (nowadays all these prescriptions give you diarrhea), High Blood Pressure, Headaches, etc. etc.

Always do your research, prescription CAN KILL you, they are not designed to cure, only to hide the symptoms and keep you as a client until you die.

And doctors are not gods, they are just mechanics of humans, you should trust them as much as you trust mechanics, they also make mistakes and some of them, like in the article, are plain evil, just want to make money and curing people is not their mission.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2018, 11:59 AM

5. I started coming to a full understanding of this...

... a couple of years ago.

Had some pain in my pubic area and some blood in my urine starting on a Saturday. My last doctor was no longer in my HMO network and I had not gotten around to seeing the new doctor that I'd picked. Called on Monday and, of course, could not get an appointment for that day so they told me to just go to the emergency room and they'd book me for a follow-up appointment for the following Monday. Went to the ER and told the doctor what I was experiencing. He asked me if I was sexually active. I'm not and wasn't at the time either. He did a brief examination of my prostate and told me I had prostatitis. Prostate trouble was my biggest fear since I was/am over 50. He prescribed Cipro. He also told me that he was going to run some test or another. I didn't question any of it because I'm thinking that at my age there might actually be some prostate trouble.

Eventually, I had the follow-up appt. with my doctor and he told me that the prostatitis diagnosis didn't sound right to him. He asked me if I'd felt any pain during the brief prostate exam and when I told him no he said that I certainly would have felt pain if I'd had prostatitis. He said that it was most likely just a urinary tract infection and he told me to keep taking the Cipro and drink lots of cranberry juice. He took a urine sample and a week or so later I found out that the infection was cleared up.

To make a long story short, when I got the bill I noticed two charges that were considerably higher than anything else on the bill. My insurance had covered these fortunately. One was for over $600 and the other over $700. They were BOTH for some kind of tests. I had to google them to find out that they were both tests for sexually transmitted infections. This after I'd told the ER doctor that I was NOT sexually active. And they were not tests for common sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia. I'm convinced now that this guy just padded the bill with these unnecessary tests since I had insurance. I doubt very much that he'd have bothered if I were uninsured. I've also since learned that Cipro is being over-prescribed for all kinds of common infections and the side effects are horrific for some people. The worst that I experienced was some mild hair loss and my hair dried out severely. Some people are nearly crippled by the stuff.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #1)

Wed May 16, 2018, 06:51 PM

8. I'll be the first to admit that doctors, or any medical providers, including PA's (like me)

and ARNP's, should not be treated like gods.

However, if I read your intention correctly, then you issued some misinformation regarding prescriptions. There are medications specifically designed to treat symptoms, such as the sneezing and itchy eyes that accompany seasonal allergies, and other medications that are designed to treat the underlying problem; for example: hypertension, or chronically high blood pressure. Some B/P meds are more effective than others, and different classifications have different side effects; but all of them are intended to lower your blood pressure to safe levels, thereby avoiding conditions such as stroke or chronic kidney disease (high blood pressure is very tough on the kidneys.)

Life-long treatment with such medications is usually up to the patient, since medical treatment should be accompanied by lifestyle changes. If a patient refuses to lose weight or exercise or quit smoking, he or she is looking at life-long medication use to mitigate the effects of these poor choices.

I treat my patients as conservatively as possible, with as few medications as necessary, at the lowest effective dose. For patients with chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, or high cholesterol, I encourage them to work toward a plan that requires no medications at all, only exercise and proper nutrition. Until that state is reached, I monitor my patients regularly for side effects, adverse effects of the medications themselves, and of course, progress toward conservative treatment.

Please do not go around stating that all medications are just for show, and do not treat illnesses effectively.

Having said that, this doctor is among those responsible for creating the impression that all medical providers are charlatans, fleecing their patients in order to fund a lavish lifestyle.

I guarantee you that someone will reply below with an accusation that I abuse my own patients for profit, and then relax on my yacht, in my mansion, or even on my own private island. This is untrue. And it is untrue of the vast majority of medical providers out there.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2018, 09:40 AM

2. No pictures of this doctor...anywhere on internet..

While this story has gotten nationwide news, I didn't find any pictures of this guy at any of the links that I searched for. There are no pictures at his web site, that I could find, and there are no pictures of him in the news stories reporting on this. And I suspect that is no mistake. I didn't even find a mug shot after his charges. Well...eventually we will see who he is.

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #2)

Wed May 16, 2018, 12:19 PM

6. Curious

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2018, 11:30 AM

3. No, no, no... U.S.A. medicine is the BEST!

Health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors motivated by money always do what's best for the patient.

Here in the United States even wealthy people with "platinum" health insurance plans can get inappropriate or even dangerous medical care from unethical doctors.

One of my own doctors recently retired and I don't blame him. He was clearly one of the good guys, he went into medicine for all the right reasons, but in the last couple of years he was an assembly line supervisor spending more time on the computer than face-to-face practicing medicine. Computers and increasingly intrusive insurance companies have only increased the "paperwork" doctors have to do.

As Perseus says above, doctors are like human body mechanics. Finding a good doctor or a good mechanic here in the U.S.A. isn't easy. Personally, I want a mechanic who won't be put off by my JB Weld or salvage yard parts home repairs, and won't do unnecessary repairs using absurdly expensive parts. Similarly I want a doctor who pays attention to, and speaks plainly about, any sort alternative medicine I've explored, and one who will always choose an appropriate generic prescription over the latest expensive "ask your doctor" television bullshit.

If I was emperor of the U.S.A. I'd nationalize the whole bloody mess and reconstitute it as something between the United Kingdom's National Health Service and Canada's single payer system.

Here in the real world I'm a huge supporter of Obamacare. Years ago my wife was seriously ill and we ran a COBRA plan to the bitter end and were left in a terrifying place as my wife was on a waiting list for our state's "high risk" pool. Fortunately she was accepted to that before she suffered any serious setbacks and is healthy today. We're insured through her work, but it's most certainly not a platinum or any other precious metal plan and I haven't yet got a regular primary care doctor who knows me, and it seems possible I never will.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2018, 06:23 PM

7. Sounds kind of like a drug dealer's lifestyle

But doctors, lobbyists, and corporate executives CAN'T be drug dealers, right?


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