- Virginia-based Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was arrested in November 2019 for health care fraud and identity theft.
The trial for a Virginia OBGYN accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on numerous women began on Oct. 14 in the U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Court records say Dr. Javaid Perwaiz performed unnecessary gynecological surgeries on unsuspecting patients, including hysterectomies, dilation and curettage procedures, removal of ovaries and Fallopian tubes, and others. He wrongly billed multiple insurance companies approximately $2.3 million for procedures and surgeries that were based upon never-performed diagnostic hysteroscopies and colposcopies. He is also accused of altering sterilization consent forms and filing insurance claims for procedures that were never performed.
Dr. Perwaiz was arrested in November 2019 for health care fraud and has been charged with 26 counts of health care fraud, 33 counts of making false statements relating to healthcare matters, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. The FBI began investigating Perwaiz in September 2018, after receiving a tip from a hospital employee.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Dr. Perwaiz’s trial, “the first lengthy one held at the federal courthouse since the coronavirus pandemic began, is expected to last up to five weeks.” In July, Perwaiz’s lawyers filed a motion asking for a speedy trial for their client, “arguing the court’s current coronavirus restrictions on jury trials were unconstitutional,” the report said. “But the trial got delayed again recently when Dr. Perwaiz, 70, tested positive for COVID-19 at Western Tidewater Regional Jail. “He had mild symptoms and has since recovered,” Emily Munn, one of his defense attorneys told the Virginian-Pilot.
On the first day of the trial, Lawrence Woodward Jr., an attorney for Perwaiz, told jurors that his client was beloved by thousands of patients over four decades. He said his client had a high number of surgeries, it was because he worked hard, and questioned as to why hospitals and insurers didn’t question the numbers. Woordward said Perwaiz never married; he rarely traveled. “He is the hardest-working doctor you ever saw.”
The United States Attorney’s Office has created a website to update current and former patients on Dr. Perwaiz’s case. It currently includes a copy of the indictment summarizing the charges filed against the defendant. The district court has also authorized the U.S. Attorney’s Office to use this website as part of its obligations to notify potential victims.
As per a Department of Justice press release, Dr. Perwaiz performed the surgeries and procedures between at least January 2010 and November 2019, and justified them by falsifying patient statements and diagnoses. An indictment filed in the court on June 19 reveals that Dr. Perwaiz billed Medicaid and TRICARE for 84 deliveries in 2019. Out of these, at least 33 of the women were believed to have been induced early without a medical cause. The early elective inducements of labor allowed him to ensure he delivered the babies on days he was scheduled to be working at the hospital, the indictment says. It also claims that he “routinely and aggressively” encouraged women to consent to irreversible and unnecessary procedures, sometimes telling them they’d develop cancer if they didn’t. The indictment includes examples of 17 women who underwent unnecessary hysterectomies and other procedures are listed in the indictment, including one who suffered “serious bodily injury.”
As per the indictment, Dr. Perwaiz was first licensed to practice medicine in Virginia in April 1980. He attended medical school in his native Pakistan and completed a residency at Charleston Area Medical Center. He was a solo practitioner and owned and operated Javaid A. Perwaiz, M.D.,P.O, at two different locations in Chesapeake,Virginia. In addition to treating obstetric patients, he performed gynecological services, both in his office and at various hospitals and outpatient surgical centers within the Eastern District of Virginia.
The Washington Post noted that Dr. Perwaiz “had a singular way of writing dates on patients’ charts.” Instead of slashes between numbers, he used dots.
However, this is not the first time that Dr. Pervaiz has faced similar allegations. In October, 1983, Maryview Hospital terminated his staff membership and clinical privileges due to poor clinical judgment, unnecessary surgery, lack of documentation, and discrepancies in record keeping, as per the June 19 indictment. The Virginia Department of Health and Regulatory Board conducted an investigation and censured Dr. Perwaiz “for lack of documentation of patient records and lack of judgment in regards to a sexual relationship with a patient,” the indictment said. Rather than accept those conditions and restrictions laid out by the hospital, Dr. Perwaiz withdrew his application.
In April 1996, Dr. Perviaz was indicted on charges of tax fraud that included misclassifying a red Ferrari sports car as an ultrasound machine, then deducting it as a business expense on his taxes. The indictment said he classified several personal purchases during those years as business expenses. The claims were then listed as deductions on his corporate tax returns. The false claims totaled more than $158,300, the indictment said. The investigation by the IRS started in late 1992 as the result of a tax audit. Perwaiz pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion in 1996 and was sentenced to five years probation., along with a fine and restitution, in the form of settling a civil tax liability of $61,196.84. He also served four months of electronic monitoring in the Home ConfinementProgram.
After his medical license was reinstated in 1998, Dr. Perwaiz returned as a staff member at Maryview Hospital, which monitored his surgical cases. The hospital would later change its name to Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center and name him its chair of obstetrics and gynecology.
The Washington Post says Dr. Perwaiz’s trial “could give some of these women a chance to see the doctor confronted about the pain prosecutors say his patients endured. For others, it will mean reliving surgical trauma and mourning the possibility of a child they were never able to have. And for some, no trial will be able to answer lingering questions about the surgeries Perwaiz performed — and whether they were necessary.”