By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On September 12, 2017, an Illinois federal judge ruled that a Chicago dermatologist convicted of passing off cosmetic procedures as medical treatments to insurance companies, is not entitled to a new trial. U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber said that there was sufficient evidence to support a conviction against Dr. Omeed Memar and that a prosecution overstep had not resulted in an unfair trial.
No New Trial.
Dr. Memar was unable to convince the court to set aside his conviction or to grant him a new trial. He was previously found guilty of telling insurance companies that a cosmetic laser treatment he used on eight patients was actually a treatment for a precancerous condition. In addition, none of the eight patients remembered having the procedure.
Dr. Memar was indicted by a grand jury in June 2015 and convicted in May this year after a week long trial. Click here to read more on his conviction.
The Unnecessary Procedure.
Prosecutors said Dr. Memar used an “intense pulsed light” device to treat patients and billed it to insurance companies as treatments for the precancerous condition actinic keratosis (AK). At trial, however, eight of Dr. Memar’s patients who received the treatments testified that they did not remember any symptoms, or remember Dr. Memar telling them they had AK.
Prosecutors also alleged that intense pulsed light treatments are not effective treatments against AK alone, but that laser treatments must be used in conjunction with acid to properly treat the disease. Dr. Memar, the government alleged, was simply passing off cosmetic procedures as medical treatments in order to improperly bill insurance.
The government presented enough evidence that the jury could reasonably conclude Dr. Memar was guilty, Judge Leinenweber said. Dr. Memar faces a maximum possible sentence of 120 years in prison.
To read the order from this case in full, click here.
To learn more about the large-scale problem with improper billing and it’s repercussions, click here to read one of my prior blogs.
If you find yourself facing allegations of improper billing or health care fraud, click here to find out how The Health Law Firm can help you.
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The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent health care providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. They also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid Program.
For more information please visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com or call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001.
Cueto, Emma. “No New Trial For Doc Who Lied About Cosmetic Procedures.” Law360. (September 12, 2017). Web.
Gale, Nick. “Dermatologist Convicted on Federal Fraud Charges.” WLS AM News. (March 12, 2017). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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