We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: 2 Florida Women Awarded $1 million for Exposing Florida dermatologist’s Fraud

Monday, December 15th, 2008

The U.S. Justice Department awarded a $1 million “whistle blower” award to two Florida women whose lawsuit led to the conviction of a Florida dermatologist who had bilked the Medicare system by removing non-cancerous skin lesions and calling them cancer.

2008-12-15-dermatology-fraud-copy.jpg“In 2004, the two Sarasota women filed a whistle-blower lawsuit that led to (Dr. Michael A.) Rosin’s conviction for unnecessarily cutting on dozens of elderly patients and fraudulently billing Medicare,” Florida’s St. Petersburg Times reported on Friday. “Now, for their help in sending him to prison for 22 years, the U.S. Justice Department has awarded (the two women) $1-million of the restitution that Rosin has paid so far.”

According to the paper, Rosin operated on dermatology patient Ellen Murray “seven times for skin lesions that experts later determined were not malignant.” Murray and Rosin’s office manager, Carolyn Ferrara, filed a lawsuit in 2004. “As detailed in a 2005 St. Petersburg Times story, Rosin performed so many skin cancer surgeries ‘that the sheer quantity … suggests many of them were medically unnecessary,” court records showed. At least 13 patients underwent surgery 20 or more times; one patient was operated on 122 times.”

Could the account be the tip of the iceberg in dermatology today? The dermatology community continues to allege that non-melanoma skin cancer is increasing, despite the fact that non-melanoma mortality rates are declining – a divergent occurrence which suggests that increased “reported” incidence rather than an increase in actual lesions may be partially responsible.

To read the whole story in the St. Petersburg Times click here.