Cosmetic treatments billed as lesions will cost dermatologist seven years in prison

SHARE Cosmetic treatments billed as lesions will cost dermatologist seven years in prison
SHARE Cosmetic treatments billed as lesions will cost dermatologist seven years in prison

A west suburban dermatologist will spend seven years in federal prison after being convicted of turning in thousands of false insurance claims for skin cancer treatments that were unnecessary or never even performed.

Dr. Robert Kolbusz was found guilty by a jury last year of three counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. On Friday, U.S. District Judge John Lee sentenced him to 84 months in prison and ordered restitution of $3.76 million.

Kolbusz submitted thousands of false claims to Medicare and private insurance companies, and was paid $3.7 million for “treatments to destroy pre-cancerous lesions,” prosecutors said. But the patients actually had no such lesions, and many of the treatments “were cosmetic procedures, such as Erbium lunchtime laser peels, performed by non-medical professionals from his office,” prosecutors said.Evidence showed he had aestheticians in his office perform cosmetic laser treatments on benign skin conditions that would not qualify for insurance coverage. But on bills he fraudulently diagnosed “actinic keratosis lesions,” and claimed the procedures—at over $350 per session—were needed to destroy them, prosecutors said.Eight patients and several employees testified at the trial, including a teenage girl who said the staff performed laser procedures to lighten her freckles. But her medical records showed about 491 pre-cancerous lesions were destroyed, at a cost of over $4,500, prosecutors said.Kolbusz continued the scheme even after an American Academy of Dermatology representative told him in 2007 he was likely committing fraud. The 58-year-old Lombard resident was ordered to report to prison on Nov. 6.

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