Florida doctor wrongly diagnosed patients with cancer for profit

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2013 file photo, chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient via intravenous drip in Durham, N.C. In a study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and results published online Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, by the New England Journal of Medicine, a gene-activity test that was used to gauge early-stage breast cancer patient's risk accurately identified a group of women whose cancers are so likely to respond to hormone-blocking drugs that adding chemo would do little if any good while exposing them to side effects and other health risks. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WFLA) – A doctor in Port St. Lucie has agreed to pay millions of dollars to reimburse the government for Medicare payments on patients who were not ill, WPTV reported.

Dr. Gary Marder allegedly falsely diagnosed patients with skin cancer.  Marder put them through medically unnecessary radiation treatments and pocketed millions from insurance companies.

WPTV reports Marder diagnosed one woman with skin cancer, who then underwent two-hours of radiation therapy for 20 days, not knowing she didn’t actually have the disease.

Each visit cost Gloria Strumalo between $1,600 and $3,500.

She went back and didn’t believe when Marder told her she needed more radiation therapy.

Strumalo opted for surgery instead, and the wound got badly infected.

The doctor who offered a second opinion said she wasn’t the first patient from Marder.

The doctor alerted authorities and worked with the FBI to uncover the scheme, and built a case against Marder.  A whistleblower lawsuit started in 2013 when he noticed an increase of patients who underwent unnecessary treatments.

Marder can pay $5.2 million before the due date, to avoid having to pay the full $18 million.  He will also give up a vacant lot he owns on Hutchinson Island, valued at $650,000.

Marder’s medical license was still active on Thursday, according to WPTV.

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