Palm Beach dermatologist Gary Marder, MD was recently sentenced to three years in prison for health care fraud. Over the course of six years, Dr. Marder billed Medicare and Tricare more than $49 million dollars. He diagnosed healthy patients with skin cancer and charged for unnecessary biopsies and radiation treatments that were either not provided or provided without proper supervision or training. In some cases, he billed for procedures on days when he wasn’t even in the country.
Dr. Marder’s fraud was first brought to the attention of authorities by fellow dermatologist Ted Schiff, MD. Dr. Schiff was concerned about the number of patients who came to his office after being erroneously diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma by Dr. Marder. However, when federal attorneys started investigating, they scrutinized his financial reporting, and discovered a fraud scheme worth $18 million.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Cohen, the case spawned from “a small slice” of his 2016 fraud settlement. As part of his plea deal, Dr. Marder admitted that he filed fake paperwork to patient files and billed insurers for a radiation specialist he did not hire.
In sentencing Dr. Marder, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg noted that “one of the primary objectives of the sentence is to send a message to other health-care providers that billing fraud is a serious crime that carries with it a correspondingly serious punishment.”