FBI: Downers Grove Dermatologist Charged in Nationwide Medicare Fraud Takedown
Dr. Robert Kolbusz of the Center for Dermatology and Skin Cancer is accused of defrauding Medicare and private health insurance companies by submitting false claims for hundreds of patients.
A Downers Grove dermatologist was charged Wednesday in a nationwide Medicare fraud sweep that involved 91 health care professionals and $429.2 million in false billing, officials announced Thursday.
Dr. Robert Kolbusz, 55, of Oak Brook, was charged in a seven-count indictment with defrauding Medicare and private health insurance companies by submitting false claims for hundreds of patients—resulting in millions of dollars in losses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Kolbusz—who runs the of the Center for Dermatology and Skin Cancer, 3825 Highland Ave. in Downers Grove—is accused of falsely diagnosing patients with actinic keratosis, or sun-induced skin lesions, that have the potential to become cancerous, and then billing Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Aetna and Humana for treatments that were ineffective and falsely documented, according to the FBI.
"Between 2003 and 2010, Kolbusz allegedly falsely documented patients’ charts to support medically unnecessary, cosmetic treatments that he ordered," FBI officials stated in a release. "In some instances, he falsely documented the removal of more than 1,000 lesions from patients over several years of treatment."
Kolbusz was charged with four counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud, according to the FBI. The maximum sentence for mail and wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 maximum fine or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater.
Kolbusz will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court, according to the release.
The investigation into Kolbusz was coordinated by the FBI and the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). It was part of a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities—an initiative started in 2007 by the HHS and the Department of Justice to deter fraud.
To date, the strike force has charged more than 1,480 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion, law enforcement officials said.
“Today’s enforcement actions reveal an alarming and unacceptable trend of individuals attempting to exploit federal health care programs to steal billions in taxpayer dollars for personal gain,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. “Such activities not only siphon precious taxpayer resources, drive up health care costs and jeopardize the strength of the Medicare program—they also disproportionately victimize the most vulnerable members of society, including elderly, disabled and impoverished Americans.”
Also charged this week was Sharon A. Rinaldi, a licensed psychologist in Illinois.
Rinaldi, 57, of Inverness, was charged with five counts of health care fraud for submitting thousands of false claims for providing psychotherapy services to Medicare beneficiaries residing in skilled nursing homes in the Chicago area, according to FBI officials.
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