An Encino dermatologist paid almost $2.7 million to the federal government to resolve allegations that he submitted bills to Medicare for complex and time-consuming skin cancer surgeries that were medically unnecessary, federal prosecutors have announced.
The physician made the payment without admitting liability.
The case was brought to the attention of authorities by a former employee of the the doctor’s medical clinic, and the ex-worker “whistleblower” received almost a half-million dollars under federal law for her actions.
Dr. Norman A. Brooks, owner of the Skin Cancer Medical Center, paid the settlement on April 10 without admitting liability, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The settlement was announced after U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez unsealed and dismissed the complaint that was filed under the False Claims Act.
The suit alleged that Brooks falsely diagnosed skin cancer in some of his patients so that he could perform, and bill for, “Mohs” surgeries.
The specialized procedure is used for removing certain types of skin cancers in specific areas of the body, including the face.