California Dermatologist Pays Nearly $2.7 Million Resolving Whistleblower Claims of Fraud Against Medicare

DATE: April 21, 2017

Berger Montague announced today the settlement of a False Claims Act case against Dr. Norman A. Brooks, M.D.-a dermatologist and surgeon-for $2,681,400 to resolve allegations that he falsely billed Medicare. Brooks owns The Skin Cancer Medical Center in Encino, Calif. Berger Montague represented former Brooks employee Janet Burke.

Ms. Burke filed her suit under seal pursuant to the provisions of the federal False Claims Act. The lawsuit alleged that Brooks falsely diagnosed skin cancer in some of his patients so he could submit bills to Medicare for Mohs micrographic surgeries that were medically unnecessary.

Mohs micrographic surgery is a complex, time-consuming surgical procedure used to remove some forms of skin cancer. It results in a higher Medicare reimbursement than other skin cancer removal procedures.

Berger Montague shareholder and lead attorney on the case Shauna Itri says, “We are proud to have represented the whistleblower Janet Burke, a former employee of the defendant, in this False Claims Act case. We applaud the government, specifically Assistant United States Attorney Donald Yoo and the Central District of California, for pursuing this case and achieving a great result.”

The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Burke v. Norman A. Brooks, M.D., Inc. et al., CV14-6735.

For more than 15 years, the Berger Montague Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Practice Group has represented whistleblowers in matters involving healthcare fraud, defense contracting fraud, IRS fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud, helping to return more than $3 billion to federal and state governments. In return, whistleblower clients retaining Berger Montague to represent them in state and federal courts have received more than $500 million in rewards. Berger Montague’s time-tested approach in Whistleblower/Qui Tam representation involves cultivating close, productive attorney-client relationships with the maximum degree of confidentiality for our clients. Our goal is for each of our clients’ experience as a whistleblower working with our firm and with the government to be positive and fulfilling.

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