Feds: Employees used disabled doctor as cash cow

Here's a disturbing story from the Monitor:  Feds: Employees used disabled doctor as cash cow

McALLEN — Office staff at a Mission clinic continued to see patients and bill federally funded health care programs well after the doctor they worked for had become incapable of practicing medicine, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Despite not having medical degrees, Eliza Lozano Lumbreras, 63, and San Juanita Gallegos Lozano, 54, made diagnoses, wrote prescriptions and racked up more than $270,000 in Medicare and Medicaid bills in their employer’s name — often while he sat nearby in a near vegetative state, according to a 13-count indictment filed against them.

At one point, the doctor “was observed sitting under a desk in his office as … Lumbreras and … Lozano continued to operate the Mission clinic,” the document says.

FBI agents arrested both women Thursday, nearly a week after another man pleaded guilty to charges that he had used the incapacitated doctor’s name to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.

The 71-year-old physician — identified in court filings only by the initials R.J.P. — was declared unfit to practice medicine in 2001 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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