Dermatologist convicted on health care fraud charges

On May 12, it was reported that an Illinois dermatologist based in Chicago was convicted on charges of health care fraud after he was accused of billing for care associated with fraudulently reported pre-cancerous treatments. The man, age 48, submitted false claims from 2007 to 2013 and faces up to 120 years in prison as a result.

The dermatologist would reportedly bill cosmetic treatments as needed to treat pre-cancerous lesions known as actinic keratosis. However, he knew that patients did not have this condition. As such, he documented the false claims with false diagnoses on the patients' charts to cover his tracks.

The patients' records show the false diagnoses and the intense-pulse light treatments associated with the pre-cancerous lesions. They were then billed for these treatments. Multiple patients treated by the dermatologist testified that they were told that they were being treated for different conditions. Three employees also testified about the scheme as well. The dermatologist was ultimately convicted on eight counts of health care fraud and eight counts of making false statements regarding patients' health.

Being accused of a white collar crime such as fraud can be a career-ending event. People could face years in prison, lose their professional licenses and be unable to obtain employment once they are released. A criminal law attorney may advocate for a professional who has been accused of committing a white collar crime. Depending on the unique circumstances, the attorney may use weaknesses found in the case to protect the person against the charges.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Chicago dermatologist convicted of health care fraud", Jacob Wittich, May 12, 2017

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