NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The trial against a Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients as part of a health care fraud scheme is underway.
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was arrested in November 2019 and faces more than 60 health care fraud charges.
Prosecutors believe Perwaiz’s alleged crimes happened for nearly 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, with police arresting him last year. He was an OB-GYN in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk for three decades.
This indictment adds 52 additional charges to the 11 he faced when the second indictment was filed in December 2019.
Prosecutors believe that Perwaiz committed these crimes over the course of about 10 years. They believe Perwaiz made money by submitting false insurance claims for procedures that weren’t medically necessary, and that he justified the procedures by falsifying patient statements and diagnoses. Prosecutors also accuse Perwaiz of altering sterilization consent forms, and in some cases, allegedly filing insurance claims for procedures that weren’t done at all, according to court documents.
Prosecutors believe that Perwaiz billed for more than $2.3 million in gynecological procedures and surgeries based, at least in part, on the findings of diagnostic procedures that were never done, according to court documents.
This story will be updated with coverage with each day of the trial.
Day 5, Monday, Oct. 19:
Chesapeake OB-GYN Dr. Javaid Perwaiz did more surgeries than other area OB-GYNs. That’s according to a data expert with Optima Health who testified in the doctor’s federal healthcare fraud trial Monday.
Josh Longe, who is a data analytics manager, testified Monday that Perwaiz’s patients were four times more likely to have surgery than those with area OB-GYNs. Longe calculated Optima’s insurance claims at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Day 4, Friday, Oct. 16:
Two of the U.S. government’s key witnesses took the stand Friday in the Dr. Javaid Perwaiz federal trial.
Margo Stone worked alongside Pewaiz, an OB-GYN in Chesapeake, for nearly 30 years. She was a nurse, bookkeeper and office administrator.
She told the jury she commonly assisted Perwaiz with seeing patients. She said she was right next to him when he allegedly committed the crimes he is accused of.
Day 3, Thursday, Oct. 15:
The jury for the Dr. Javaid Perwaiz federal trial got an education on the female reproductive system Thursday.
Prosecutors called Philadelphia OB-GYN Dr. Jay Golberg to the stand Thursday to talk about words such as “hysterectomy,” “cervix,” “uterus” and “sterilization.”
Goldberg told the jury he reviewed files from Perwaiz’s patients and disagreed with some of the Chesapeake doctor’s diagnoses.
Day 2, Wednesday, Oct. 14: Cancer scare
Prosecutors told the jury the case against Dr. Javaid Perwaiz is about broken trust, manipulation and greed. They say he used the fear of cancer to manipulate patients into surgery for money.
The jury heard how the doctor allegedly did unnecessary surgeries and would bill for procedures he didn’t do.
The government is focusing on 25 of the doctor’s patients from 2015-2019 who they say either had surgeries for no reason or had early induced pregnancies.
Day 1, Tuesday, Oct. 13: Jury selection
The jury selection process started Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. in Norfolk Federal Court.
Tuesday, a jury of 18 members was selected. That will consist of 12 jurors and 6 alternates. The jury is evenly split between men and women.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning. The trial is expected to last five weeks.
Prosecutors believe one way Perwaiz made money was by routinely scheduling patients for early labor inductions, court documents state.
Perwaiz allegedly scheduled patients for early labor inductions to make sure that their babies were delivered on days that he was already in the hospital so he could file insurance claims for the deliveries. Perwaiz allegedly changed the “estimated delivery dates” on some of his patients’ medical records and induced them before their 39th week of pregnancy, which is against the medical standard of care, according to court documents.
Perwaiz billed Medicaid and Tricare for 84 deliveries in 2019. Prosecutors believe that at least 33 percent of those births were early induced labors.
Perwaiz also “aggressively encouraged” women to consent to procedures by telling them they had cancer or would develop cancer if they didn’t have surgery. He justified the procedures and surgeries to insurance companies by falsifying patients’ medical records to include statements they didn’t make and symptoms they didn’t have. These surgeries were sometimes irreversible, like hysterectomies, court documents state.
Perwaiz also allegedly billed insurance companies for diagnostic procedures he didn’t actually do, like hysteroscopies and colposcopies. Although these procedures weren’t actually done, Perwaiz used his alleged findings to justify other medical procedures and surgeries, court documents state.
These surgeries and procedures included hysterectomies, dilation and curettage, and lysis of adhesions, court documents state.
Perwaiz is also accused of pressuring his patients to go through with permanent sterilization procedures, often by lying to them and saying that the procedures were easily reversible. Sometimes he circumvented Medicaid’s 30-day sterilization consent requirement by backdating consent forms so they appeared to have been signed earlier than they were, court documents state.
Perwaiz has pleaded not guilty to all on the charges. His case was rescheduled last month because of a COVID-19 outbreak at Western Tidewater Regional jail.
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