Medical assistant accused of using patients' records to collect insurance money

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A medical assistant at a local doctor's office, accused of illegally accessing records from patients and using those records to pull off a fraud, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

State investigators believe Selina Rodriguez even pretended some of the patients were her own children to collect insurance money.

Using computers at her workplace, Mid-Florida Urological Associates, Rodriguez is accused of illegally accessing patient records from Orlando Health, the company that runs big hospitals, including Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Shannon Solchenberger's 8-year-old daughter, Nevaeh, who was injured in a 2011 DUI crash, was a victim in the case.

"Broke her arm, leg, fractured her pelvis and dislocated her hips," said Solchenberger.

Authorities said Rodriguez claimed Navaeh was her daughter, and she filed a false insurance claim and collected more than $15,000.

"Pretty sick when we're the ones stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills," said Solchenberger.

Solchenberger said it's especially disturbing since most of the victims are children seriously injured who had to be treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Another of the victims was Austin Barnes. According to the family, he was hospitalized after he was thrown over the wall of a bounce house at Monkey Joes in Apopka and landed on his head.

Investigators said Rodriguez claimed Austin was her son and used his stolen medical records to file an insurance claim. They said she collected nearly $37,000.

According to investigators, Rodriguez did the same thing using records from Lira Lama's daughter.

"My daughter, she fell from the second floor and had a concussion," said Lama.

Investigators said Rodriguez collected $39,000 in that case.

What may have led to Rodriguez' downfall is that she was caught in a check-cashing scheme last year.

At the time of her arrest, investigators said they found medical records for several Orlando Health patients in her car.

State agents said they learned she gained access to the Orlando Health records using the password of Dr. Dennis Donahue at Mid-Florida Urological.

Lama told us she's glad Rodriguez was caught.

"She used all her information to get money, and I worry about my daughter's identity now," said Lama.

In four separate cases, Rodriguez is accused of collecting more than $100,000 in false insurance claims.

Agents said they don't know where all of the money went, but they said Rodriguez spent some of it at places like Macy's and Victoria's Secret.

Rodriguez's trial in the first case is set for April 1. She no longer works at Mid-Florida Urological Associates.