gynecologist

health

Women testify of trust placed in gynecologist who prosecutors say performed unnecessary procedures

The surgeries started that year and ended only in 2015. Each time, her handwritten medical chart reported that she had complained of pelvic and back pain, bad cramps, frequent and long periods, or something growing in her vagina.

The woman was asked whether she had ever suffered those symptoms. “I never said that,” she answered again and again. She was the latest of Perwaiz’s patients to share their experiences with a doctor prosecutors say performed unnecessary procedures over the course of a decade as part of a scam to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Perwaiz faces 61 fraud counts that cover 25 patients, most of whom he saw from 2015 to 2019. Prosecutors have not said how many others were victims. So many women came forward after his arrest in November that the FBI created a website about the case for them.

When the patient asked Perwaiz why she needed surgery, she said he replied that there was an abnormal growth in her uterus that could be cancer. “I was told this lump will keep on growing each time it was removed,” she testified. “If I do not take care of this, then it would spread very rapidly and cause cancer.”

He operated in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2015. During the 2012 surgery, he performed a hysterectomy, removing her uterus and left ovary but leaving her right ovary intact. In 2015, according to her testimony, she voiced no complaints during her checkup, but Perwaiz told her she needed another surgery. This time, he removed her remaining ovary.

Each time he told her that surgery was necessary, she believed him. “He’s my doctor,” she told jurors. “I have to trust him.” M.C. was among the patients who testified that they trusted Perwaiz when he told them they needed invasive procedures over the years.

Like patients, health insurers also trusted him.

He billed them hundreds of thousands of dollars for phantom medical procedures, according to his indictment.

He billed for hysteroscopies, a procedure used to view inside a woman’s uterus during examinations, during times when either the scope was broken or he did not have the other materials in his office to perform the procedure, prosecutors allege. They contend he billed for colposcopies, a procedure to view the cervix, and wrote abnormal findings on patients’ charts even though he didn’t use the solution that would allow him to see those abnormalities. And they say he billed for unnecessary hysterectomies.

Prosecutors also contend that Perwaiz often induced labor for pregnant patients before they were due on Saturdays at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, where he scheduled surgeries, so he could earn money making deliveries.

Between 2010 and 2019, Perwaiz billed insurance companies more than $2.3 million for gynecological care partially justified by diagnostic procedures he never performed, prosecutors allege in the indictment. In testimony earlier in the trial, an investigator for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield said that, over a decade, more than 41 percent of Perwaiz’s patients had surgical procedures compared with 7.6

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