Company Owned by Banished Texas Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Workers' Comp Scheme

A Houston health clinic, owned by a former orthopedic surgeon who has been stripped of his medical license, has pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge of scheming to bill the Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund for phony medical services.

Following a lengthy investigation of its billing practices by the Travis County District Attorney's Office, the Harris County Bone and Joint Clinic Association pled guilty on April 5 to a charge of securing execution of a document by deception.

As part of the plea agreement, the company paid restitution of $24,599, a $1,000 fine and court costs.

The charge stemmed from the company's scheme to cause the Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund and others to issue checks for medical services that were not rendered, according to the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission.

The owner of the company, Eric Heston Scheffey, had his medical license revoked by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners on Feb. 4, according to the commission. The board alleged that Scheffey had performed 29 unnecessary surgeries on 11 patients and also failed to report medical malpractice liability claims.

The commission says it previously had declined Scheffey's application to be on the Approved Doctor's List to treat injured workers in the workers' compensation system.

Several public and private state agencies participated in the investigation into Scheffey's workers' compensation fraud scheme.

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