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Doctors Behaving Badly: Maine welcomes psychiatrist with fraud conviction and drug abuse concerns

Doctors Behaving Badly: Maine welcomes psychiatrist with fraud conviction and drug abuse concerns

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If were a cat, he would have run out of lives. But, thanks to accommodating medical boards up and down the East Coast, de los Heros has survived and thrived. Here is a short guide to his fascinating history. You can also track de los Heros on the .

First life: De los Heros graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1975 and started working in Massachusetts in 1978. He sought and obtained licenses in New Hampshire, Maryland and North Carolina. In 1980, he earned board certification in psychiatry from the .

Second life: In March 1997, he pleaded guilty and was convicted in Massachusetts of . According to the charges, he had overbilled Medicaid for a total of $240,681.11.

Third life:  The felony conviction was one too many for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. The board the same week the guilty plea was announced. De los Heros entered the Massachusetts Physician Health Services program, which treats doctors who have addiction problems or psychological issues.

Fourth life: He had already let his lapse in 1978. He held onto his license in New Hampshire, but only barely. In June 1997, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine worked out a settlement agreement with de los Heros in which he .

Fifth life: That left North Carolina as the only place where he could still charge for his services. Soon, even billing became complicated. In September 1997, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from receiving any federal funds, including Medicare, Medicaid, Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grants and Block Grants to States for Social Services programs. It also prevented any business from submitting bills that included work done by de los Heros.

Sixth life: De los Hero could still see patients with private insurance or paying out of pocket in North Carolina. That lasted for nearly two years. The finally got wind of the felony conviction and the actions taken by Massachusetts and New Hampshire and in February 1999.

Seventh life: After a five-year hiatus, de los Heros resurfaced in Yarmouth, Maine.  He left the Massachusetts Physician Health Services program and signed up with the Maine Medical Association's Committee on Physician Health program in 2004. He had let his board certification in psychiatry lapse in 1997, but this didn't bother the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. In July 2006, the board . He was told to "restrict his practice to working in a supervised relationship." He also was told to provide regular urine samples to prove he was not taking drugs, and, in a strange twist, the board ordered him to "treat 15% of indigent patients without charge until he becomes an approved provider for Medicare and Mainecare." Hey, if a doctor is considered risky for clients with good insurance, why not relegate him to patients who have fewer options?

Eighth life: Also in 2006, de los Heros managed to win a in Massachusetts under a probation agreement.

Ninth life: In applying for a full, unrestricted Massachusetts license in 2007, de los Heros left out a few salient details. Boards are always interested in discipline from other states, criminal convictions, federal investigations, anything that might make a state think twice about granting a doctor the privilege to work there. There were many omissions on de los Heros' application, including: the license restrictions placed on him by the Maine medical board, the previous discipline by the North Carolina medical board and an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Given de los Heros' felony convictions for fraud and larceny, this may have been seen as a serious ethical breach and a lack of contrition. The Massachusetts board did not see things this way and merely in November 2007.

Tenth life: De los Heros officially outlived the mythical cat. Barely three years back on the job in Maine, he became the subject of a complaint to the medical board about "competence issues." After investigating, the board determined in July 2009 that de los Heros should undergo a neuropsychiatric evaluation and could continue practicing "only under the supervision of a Board-approved psychiatrist."

Eleventh life. In April 2010, the Maine medical board voted to and to dismiss the complaint against him. For now, he is a fully licensed psychiatrist in both Maine and Massachusetts, although he continues to operate without board certification in psychiatry.

Final question: Why is the paper trail for de los Heros so hard to find? His case serves as a reminder to both consumers and reporters that it is never enough just to check one medical board for a physician's history.The helpfully acknowledges that de los Heros was a physician there for two years, but, if he was the subject of any discipline there, those records are no longer provided because they are beyond the state's 10-year statute of limitations.

The in Medicine makes it unnecessarily cumbersome to gain access to even the limited information it has on file. The board has taken at least five actions involving de los Heros' license since 2006, but only the documents related to the latest action can be found on the board's website. All of the details about the cases are kept secret.

The Massachusetts board provides no record of de los Heros in its searchable online database, even though its most recent disciplinary action is featured in the board's "."

New Hampshire to the discipline it gave de los Heros, and good luck trying to find it.

In this case, the North Carolina Medical Board has to be applauded. Although the are short on detail, they are the only documents available for disciplinary actions taken against de los Heros in the 1990s. For consumers and for reporters, it should not be so difficult to find a coherent and complete story about a physician who has practiced in five states and been investigated by at least two federal agencies.

Comments

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Oh my God, this doctor is licensed to practice in Maine?  I live in Maine.  How many other subversive drug addicted, previously disciplined or unlicenses  felon doctors have come to Maine and gotten licensed?  This is very alarming to me and I would certainly be interested in more details

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He is the best Dr I have had in yrs. I liked Dr d from the beginning. He listens and actually cares about me. He takes his time to understand my mental issues. Some doctor's you have to plead with just to get them to understand what I'm going through. Dr. D gets it. I'm very excited to work with him with my mental health. I have never felt more comfortable with him except for one prior Dr. Who retired. Thank you Dr.d

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I agree with Betsy, I think that he is the best doctor in Maine and yes he actually listens to me and has treated me fairly and my mental health unlike some doctors who don't really care about their patients! Thank GOD for this Doctor!

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I cant believe this doctor had trouble in three other States but was allowed to practice in the State of Maine ...how many other people has he over prescribed to . If I was a resident of Maine I would be very concerned as to how this doctor got to stay in practice and I think we should all stay on top of this story I don't think this mother is going to give up the fight for Kelly and we are right behind her 100%.... We need to look out for our children from over prescribing physician's. ..19 ,,that's way too many

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Thank you Cathy for believing in me and what I am doing to get justice for my daughter Kelly, and all the other people that have been to doctors like this that just run pill mills. We had no idea she was even going to this Dr. de los Hero's until after we received the call from the police up in Maine explaining that they had Kelly, she had passed and left a note and 19 empty prescription bottles all around her all prescribed by this one Doctor, and the police weren't surprised when they saw which Doctor it was

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To Kelly's mom. I can't even put into words how sad it made me feel to read about your daughter. I myself used to go to this lunatic. He will prescribe ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I couldn't believe that he actually was getting away with the stuff he was doing. He somehow decided that I had restless leg syndrome, although I've never had a single symptom, and although I can't remember everything he tried to get me to take because it was like 5-6 years ago, but every time I would leave his office, it was with a fist full of prescriptions, at least 50% of which i didn't didn't need or fill. Hmmm... what's that about? Talk about kick backs. I didn't know about Dr. D's history at the time. What I did see, was Mainecare fraud though. I went to him for quite awhile, but after many, many, many months of having to go back and see him every two weeks, even though I had been stable on my meds for quite sometime, I got tired of driving 45 minutes each way, to see him. Now, let me day "this wasn't my first rodeo" and no other doctor I'd ever seen had me come that often. Even when I'd see them the first time, I'd go back once a month, and once the meds were right, it would usually go to appointments every two months. This guy is nothing but a crazy con artist who could care less about his patients. I hope you get justice for Kelly, I have daughter's of my own, and can only imagine what you're going through. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Cheryl will you please send me an e-mail I would really like to talk to you if possible, Sincerely Elizabeth Marquis

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I was a patient of Dr DeLos Heros about 30 years ago... I cannot believe I am reading this. The medications he prescribed to me when I was a teenager caused permanent kidney damage and irreversible neurological damage. I was being treated for depression at the time and actually ended up worse (not better) after starting treatment with him. I attempted suicide several times while under his care but was unsuccessful. He was physically and mentally abusive to me when I was being treated by him. I never reported it... because I didn't think anyone would believe me at the time.. ( I was only 15). This is nothing compared to what you have been through.. and my thoughts and prayers are with you.. I cannot believe this man is still practicing. I admire your courage to speak out and let the public know the real truth.. Blessings..

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Could you please e-mail me I would really like to speak to you if I could, Sincerely Elizabeth Marquis

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Dr. de Los Heros is also a grad. of Harvard Medical /taught there. There were uspoken years in which he provided excellent care. Many of the complex accusations of de los heros were by Criminal seeking money for bogus lawsuits and were willing to lie to WIN! Anyone whom personally knows Dr. Heros, and his family would know this and some REAL data-mining would bring this to light.

Unfortunately for many medicals, each "State" med board will punish ANY doctor for breathing wrong as long as they have a person willing to say they are. PROVEN FACT! Hence with some HONEST repair-work in self-dignity and proving one-self to be a decent doctor.....its almost a matter of LAW that one can earn the privelage to do business back again.

Lets pick on all the people that have licenses to do say...General Contracting...and look at ALL the earings they actually report as compared to the work/pay they never report. Is there a BOARD for this?   Yea, but good luck proving it. Doctors are humans, last anyone check, they have rights as well.

Be vigilient yes, but be CAREful what you say as throwing stones while living in glass houses can get you hit with a libel/slander suit without the FACTS!

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All I can really say is...Dr. de los Heros is solely responsible for saving my life.  Clearly he has his demons.  But in the time I knew him he was well respected and provided excellent care.  I will never forget the service he gave to me.  And I will never forget how much he cared.  He is a person.  We all have our struggles.  Dr. D's fall from grace is very sad.  But he saved my life.  I will forever be grateful for the outstanding care he gave to me.  I just thought he deserved that much.

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A felony is a felony. And to talk about past patients that alledgedly threatened to sue without yourself presenting the facts about these patients and their alledged threats and turn around and threaten to sue due to the freedom to reveal proven facts sounds very contradictory to me.  I feel bad for the previous patients who obviously were having psychatric illnesses and are now being lashed out upon by somebody now all too familiar with the doctor.  I really hope you don't have access to their personal information.  There are boards in the medical field to protect patients, who are ill to begin with, from becoming further ill while under the care of a doctor.  Thank God for the Boards!!!    

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he is the absolute best pdoc i have ever seen, and ive been seeing drs for over 10 years..

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I know him very well. Harvard, never happen. Another fabrication. When he practiced in Lawrence MA he would have scheduling of patients 3 every 15 mins. These poor challenged people would wait for three hours to get there meds... Lines of people waiting out the door... I absolutely refused his request to over bill. His friend he brought in to do it would change for a visit when the patient was in the hospital.... That's how he got caught! He also would take meds back from his patients telling them it was not working for them ( ritalin)... He once mentioned how he thought is was a god. Strange guy, can' t imagine how he helps people when he is in another world...

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This man is very sick, and should not be practicing medicine. I can only imagine how many lives he has destroyed, and how many patients were under his care, that are now "scarred" psychologically- as a result of some of the horrible things that he has done. It is very scary to know that someone like this is out there practicing medicine. I get chills up my spine when I think about it.

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This Doctor prescribed 19 prescriptions to my daughter during a 5 WEEK period and she died, please me Sue, Sincerely, Elizabeth Marquis

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I live in Maine... is this for real?

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Is this guy still practicing? This is scary.

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Scary as hell... YES he IS still practicing.. he is working up in Portland Maine.

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I think he needs help.

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Dr. Heros did Attend Harvard. He was convicted of Medicaid Fraud, not just in Maine. I know him personally, I have 2 Dr. Friends that working with him in Portland. Both are currently under investigation by the FBI----how do I know/because I have a copy of the letter (from the feds) sent to EVERY patient that was under the care of Hero's colleagues. Dr. Heros is a drunk, is still under the watchful eye of the DEA & State Med. Board for his problems resulting from his own drug/alcohol use. He presents as a guy that got screwed by a former secretary that messed up his billing in Mass. when that State took him to Court. He lost his Med. license for just under 10 years! As of this past weekend, of 9/20 and 9/21 2014 Dr. Heros was nearly arrested by MSP for criminal speeding in his Maserati! yes, bought with money he bills Medicare by taking advantage of Portland, Maine's population (mostly made up of pill seekers from the local Methadone Clinics), junkies and ppl seeking disability help to get SSDI.

Dr. Heros has been in drug rehab himself. He CANNOT use alcohol under his agreement with Maine Med Board. He frequently has patients getting arrested for trafficking the drugs that he prescribes them. When this happens (nearly weekly) the DEA crawls up his ass and Heros starts pulling back all the drugs that his drug-addicted/mentally challenged patients get from him. Dr. Heros has a known HISTORY of giving out high quantities of Controlled substances such as Ritalin, Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall, etc etc.-------Every six months Dr. Heros takes his patients on a mental joyride by over-prescribing these Class 2 drugs, gets them hooked, then pulls the drugs away, and re-prescribes similar drugs, then starts over again in another 6 months. A pattern being investigated by the DEA and insurers, and State Med. officials. This guy is using the system just like 90% of his drug-addict patients. He gets them hooked, them makes up phony medical diag.s , and bills, bills bills Medicare, Mainecare till the cows come home! he takes lavish and extravagant vacations to Ireland, Italy, Austria, drives an expensive Maserati on weekends (for which he just got a ticket reduced from speeding at 101 mph down to 99 mph in a 70 while on his way to Bar Harbor for the weekend! yea, I guess that qualifies for KNOWING Dr. Heros! He is a Fraud and if you Google his name enough you WILL find the documentation of his cases for Fraud in 3 States.-----Dr. Heros may not know it yet---but his days of billing and messing up disadvantaged people's lives are quickly coming to an end in Maine. He has a major malpractice suit heading his way, with a ton of evidence against him! So those of you that are on here pretending to be a patient or former patient of his, in an attempt to fool the readers, smarten up! Either he's giving you the dope you want (for now, until he gets sick of you, and fixes your charts), or....you never were a patient and you work for him and are on here lieing to attempt to help repair his lengthy damaged image.------BOGUS to you! I, along with my wife, know Reinaldo de Los Heros well! he's a criminal with a license to over-prescribe and bill the State! --------He is NO "Doctor" that's for certain! If you could see the amount of investigations, amount of patients he has lost, that either died under his care, (I know of 4 so far), or that he screwed over and self-discharged, and the amount of times he and his colleagues have been and still are being subject to on-going investigation by both the FBI and DEA you'd stop lying for him!

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My daughter Kelly took her own life after only going to him from March 10, 2015 to April 1, 2015..4 visits and 19 prescriptions late she took all her pills on April 19, 2015 left a note and 19 empty pill bottles. She stated in her note that she was going to him and getting lot's of meds, but didn't feel comfortable in her own skin, she couldn't think, she could drag a trash barrel to the edge of the street without being out of breath. I brought him before the Medical Board and just received the letter of actions to be taken against him on Feb 29th... My e-mail is [email protected]... Please me, I have a great lawyer and I could use your help, thank you and God Bless ~ Elizabeth

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I cannot believe the state of Maine has allowed this....my brother went into the hospital yesterday. Thank god he has family that cares because I know he would be dead if we didn't stop by and the system would have chalked this up as an overdose. My family and I have been saying for a long time we think he was being over medicated and to find out today this is the guy who has been doing it....I'm not sure if I should be blaming the State or this so call Dr....shame on the state of Maine. This won't be the last you would hear from us...my brother has a kidney issue and I wonder if this Dr was aware of this.....if this guy is a Dr and doing his job he would know. Also this Dr was sending my brothers blood work to Florida....now this doesn't make sense st all

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This so called Doctor has blood on his hands, and if it takes the rest of my life he will be doing time behind bars... My daughter took her on life April 19,2015 and when the police officers arrived they found close to 20 different medications all written out to my daughter from this doctor... God has my back on this one

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He makes new clients and methadone patients pee in a cup every week or every other week. He is strict because he knows this is his last chance.

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he is my best friend and love him he gave me the best experiences of my life ftw

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So Renny is your best friend? I bet he has sent you on many trips too

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I have 40+ years if sobriety. In the 80's I was sponsoring a woman who was seeing this quack. He kept giving her all kinds of pills. She raved about him. She couldn't stay sober. One time I even dropped off a BAG of pills that I found on her at his office. He didn't seem concerned. Now I understand why. No wonder she couldn't draw a sober breath. The REAL blame for this guy belongs to all the medical boards who have allowed him to continue. He was working at Hampstead Hospital in New Hampshire when I knew him - a real breeding ground for unethical psychiatrists.

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