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Florida dermatologist who falsely diagnosed hundreds of cancer cases gets $18m fine

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j853 (Published 16 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j853
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A Florida dermatologist who falsely told hundreds of his patients that they had skin cancer so he could bill for unnecessary treatments, including radiation, must pay $18m (£14.5m; €17m) to settle fraud claims made against him by the US government and a whistleblowing local doctor.

But his clinic is still open and his license is active, and there is no sign of a disciplinary case before the state’s medical board.

Gary Lee Marder, 60, owns the Allergy, Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, a clinic in Port St Lucie, Florida.

No precise figures are available for the number of misdiagnoses he made or the total for which he fraudulently billed Medicare, but the volume was high. A physician co-defendant in the case, pathologist Robert Kendall, was sent roughly 35 000 biopsy samples from Marder’s clinic from 2008 to 2014 in what government lawyers called a kickback scheme. Kendall agreed to pay $250 000 to settle claims against him.

Marder urged his physician assistants to each perform 50 biopsies a day, …

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