DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Florida, Sex

Shrink A "Text"-Book Case

Doctor has sex with patient, bills her insurance

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Florida Shrink A "Text"-Book Case

FEBRUARY 16--A tawdry text message correspondence between a Florida psychologist and a female patient he treated (and had sex with) helped lead to the doctor's emergency suspension last month, according to a report prepared by state officials.

Daniel Lerom, investigators allege, improperly engaged in sexual misconduct with a woman whom he had first seen in connection with her marital difficulties. A state Department of Health report, an excerpt of which you'll fine here, details Lerom's illicit relationship with the woman, who is only identified by the initials "HF."

The Tampa doctor allegedly began having sex with the patient last February, and sent text messages referring to their intimate encounters, which occurred at Lerom's office, the woman's Lakeland townhouse, and a Quality Inn. "U r soooo hot!! I worry that I m holding u back from a younger stud who can really meet ur need!! lol!," Lerom, 49, wrote in one message. In another text, Lerom noted, "wish uwere here in the shower with me to warm me up!!! Your RHL!!!" RHL, according to the state report, was short for "red hot lover."

Investigators allege that Lerom filed false claims with the woman's insurance carrier after a dozen of their encounters, claiming that he engaged in an 80-minute "specialty consult" with his patient. "Dr. Lerom was actually engaging in sexual activity, including having oral sex or sexual intercourse with HF on the dates that he requested payment" from her insurance company. The payouts totaled more than $1400.

Lerom is also accused of regularly asking "HF" to provide him with some of her prescription pain pills, claiming that he needed the medicine for back pain. The woman, who told state officials that she gave Lerom the requested pills, noted that the doctor once emptied a bottle of Vicodin without her permission.

The patient last month filed a lawsuit against Lerom, charging him with negligence and malpractice. The Department of Health report notes that, since 2004, "HF" has been treated by a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety, and that the woman was hospitalized for a breakdown last year after her relationship with Lerom was discovered by the doctor's wife. (13 pages)