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Dr. Gil Lederman: A Fraudster? (2024)

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Dr. Gil Lederman

Fraud in the healthcare industry has been alleged to have occurred in the cancer treatment litigation that Dr. Gil Lederman is facing. Let’s go further into the story and concentrate on the most important aspects of it.

Gilbert Lederman, who had previously served as the head of radiation oncology at Staten Island University Hospital, performed treatment on the late George Harrison, who was a member of the Beatles. To address allegations of Medicare fraud that are connected to his billings, Lederman has consented to pay $2.5 million and has admitted that he is not guilty.

When George Harrison’s wife filed a lawsuit against Lederman for thrusting a guitar in the guitarist’s face after he had received radiation therapy and demanding that Harrison sign it, Lederman became notorious for allegations that he prioritized his “self-interest” above the rights of sufferers. 

What transpired between Dr. Gil Lederman and George Harrison, his patient? 

Source

An agreement to resolve a Medicare fraud case was reached in November 2014 by Dr. Gil Lederman, a physician from New York City who became famous for his request to George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, to autograph a guitar when he was on his deathbed. 

Although he came dangerously close to losing his Medicare privileges as a consequence of the fraud probe, Dr. Gil Lederman has committed to continuing his medical practice. He has said that the charges are a “legal nightmare,” and he has agreed to pay $2.35 million to address the False Claims Act claims.

It was communicated to Gil Lederman that he should bear the consequences of misunderstanding claims between the years 1996 and 2003 to benefit from reimbursements totaling millions of dollars. As George Harrison was nearing the end of his battle with illness, Lederman garnered popularity for his efforts to get the late legendary musician to autograph a guitar.

There is a complaint that was filed by the widow of a patient who had treatment from Dr. Lederman. The case claims that the doctor took advantage of the patient’s experimental cancer therapies and then claimed payment, which violates the regulations that were in place at the time regarding Medicare. As compensation for her willingness to come forward, the whistleblower is expected to get $326,250 in addition to $175,000 to pay her legal expenses. This is because she is ready to provide information. 

Background History of the Dr. Gil Lederman Case 

Dr. Gil Lederman has been a renowned character in the oncology community in New York City for many years. He used to be a frequent person on the radio in the city.

Throughout his tenure as head of the oncology division at Staten Island University Hospital, which spanned from the 1990s to the early 2000s, Dr. Lederman made regular use of experimental medications and therapy alternatives for patients whose cancer did not respond to standard treatment approaches.

Dr. Lederman was instrumental in popularizing the hospital’s Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery program, which advertised a “95 percent success rate.” He played a significant part in this promotion.

In the lawsuit that he filed, the whistleblower said that Dr. Lederman and the hospital had enticed “desperate cancer patients as well as relatives to unfairly enrich themselves” when there were potentially more affordable treatments available.

In the complaint brought forth by the whistleblower, it is alleged that Dr. Lederman and the medical facility engaged in deceptive and exaggerated advertising methods to persuade “desperate cancer patients and those closest to them to unfairly enrich themselves” when there were potentially more affordable treatments available.

By the laws that were in place at the time, medical professionals were only allowed to file claims to Medicare for innovative or experimental procedures, such as stereotactic body radiosurgery, for malignancies that developed above the neck (also known as brain tumors).

When such treatments were billed for cancer that was present in other sections of the body and was regarded to be beyond the limitations of Medicare, the False Claims Act was activated. This was the moment when the False Claims Act was triggered.

To add insult to injury, Dr. Lederman is accused of either upcoding or wrongly coding certain treatments to maximize money from government healthcare programs. The allegations are connected to the treatment that was provided to at least three hundred cancer patients over that time.

It was in response to accusations that the hospital had overcharged patients who were covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE that the hospital agreed to pay $25 million to the $88.9 million settlement that was reached to resolve the matter in 2008.

The Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, made a statement on the subject and said that Medicare, which is the largest insurance provider in the country, is still in danger from providers who misrepresent their services. This might be done to obtain more funds or conceal the fact that a therapy was classified as experimental.

We will continue to harshly punish any service providers in response who place their self-interest above their responsibilities to properly report the services they deliver to Medicare enrollees.

In 2004, the attorney for Ms. Ryan, Richard Reich, of the New York law firm Lifflander & Reich LLP, filed a qui tam lawsuit against the hospital and Lederman in federal district court in Brooklyn. In the lawsuit, Reich claimed that the hospital and Lederman should not have been reimbursed for their stereotactic body radiosurgery treatment for cancer because it was not eligible for reimbursement under the federal Medicare program. 

Reich also claimed that with dishonest billing practices, the hospital and Lederman caused the Medicare program to pay them millions of dollars that they were not entitled to receive. Following an examination of the claims made by Ryan, the United States of America became an intervenor in the litigation involving SIUH and Lederman.

Before Lederman settled with the government and Ms. Ryan, Judge John Gleeson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York determined that Lederman’s claims for reimbursement from Medicare for body radiosurgery were both legally and factually incorrect.

The first is that the treatments he claimed were not covered by Medicare, and the second is that Lederman skewed the nature of the services for which he was billed.

Mr. Reich added in his statement that “Dr. Lederman attempted to take advantage of the Medicare program and collected millions of dollars in reimbursements to which he had no right.” This was done at the cost of cancer patients who were vulnerable to the disease as well as the general public.

The circumstances surrounding this case must serve to discourage self-centered organizations and medical institutions from illegally diverting monies from the Medicare program. Additionally, it should encourage individuals to come forward to protect the integrity of public healthcare systems. 

Dr. Gil Lederman: Involvement in Multiple Legal Concerns  

Dr. Lederman has been subjected to legal misbehavior in addition to the settlement that was reached under the False Claims Act. Through negotiations with the Harrison family in January 2004, he was able to achieve a settlement of ten million dollars for the aforementioned request for a signature on the deathbed.

In May of 2004, a jury in New York City concluded that he was at least partially responsible for the medical malpractice that led to the death of another member of the patient population.

In 2010, when the estates of twenty Italian nationals filed a malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Lederman, they claimed that Loretta Lynch, the attorney general of the United States, had remarked on the matter and said:

doctors who fake their services continue to pose a threat to Medicare, which is the largest insurance program in the United States. These doctors may do so for a variety of reasons, including the concealment of the fact that the treatment was classified as experimental.

We will continue to harshly punish any service providers in response who place their self-interest above their responsibilities to properly report the services they deliver to Medicare enrollees.

The dead patients were tricked into coming to Staten Island University Hospital in the first place by promises of receiving treatment for their cancer before they passed away. Each of the twenty people who were affected by the illness passed away.

Dr. Gil Lederman, a resident of Staten Island, who was previously sued by the estate of George Harrison for violating the late Beatle’s right to medical privacy, made an appearance in court today to defend the diagnosis of an Italian lady who died tragically as a result of the specialized radiation treatment that he had administered.

In the federal court in Brooklyn, Dr. Gil Lederman is now on trial for allegedly treating a Sicilian mother of three who was 34 years old with pancreatic cancer without doing any testing to ensure that she had the condition.

The case that was filed against Dr. Gil Lederman in 2004 by Harrison’s family, in which they accused him of forcing the dying rock star into signing his son’s guitar, was resolved by Dr. Lederman.

According to Bruce Behrins, the attorney for the family of Giuseppa Bono, Lederman, who had previously served as the director of radiology at Staten Island University Hospital, was accused of boasting a success rate of 97 percent for his specialized “Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery” in loud infomercials that were broadcast on television and radio in the United States as well as on Italian television.

Behrens claimed in his opening statement that Salvatore Conte, an acquaintance of Lederman’s in Italy who pretended to be a doctor despite having no medical training, screened patients at the Staten Island University Hospital’s Naples location and pocketed a portion of the $17,500 upfront fee. Conte was a member of the Staten Island University Hospital.

According to Behrins, he was neither a physician nor an oncologist but rather a sales-based salesperson who was paid on commission.

Bono, much like the previous member of the Beatles, traveled to Staten Island with the expectation of discovering a miraculous treatment. To cover the cost of the treatment, Giuseppe, Bono’s husband, was compelled to sell all three of his fishing boats that were located in Sicily.

On the other hand, according to the attorneys representing Bono, the medical personnel who treated her with radiation did so on Conte’s recommendation without ever doing a biopsy to confirm that she had cancer.

During his testimony today, Dr. Philip Silverman, another radiologist from Staten Island who is also charged in this case, said that he was under the notion that he was a physician. It wasn’t until much later that he found out that he wasn’t a medical doctor. He assumed that there were more medical professionals involved in the surgery.

Bono’s death occurred on July 24, 2003, exactly one year after Lederman had received therapy.

An expert witness for the plaintiff, Dr. Louis Harrison, indicated that it was “extremely likely” that this treatment made her sickness worse and was a factor in her passing away. He also stated that this therapy was a cause of her death.

Ten Italian defendants who were included in the first case that was filed in 2004 said that Dr. Gil Lederman had committed an act of wrongdoing against them all. Except for Bono’s claims for pain and suffering and medical malpractice, all of the claims were dismissed owing to procedural flaws and a lack of substance.

In his opening statement, Peter Kopff, Lederman’s attorney, indicated that Bono refused to allow a biopsy to be performed on his client and that subsequent tests that were performed on Lederman found indications that were consistent with pancreatic cancer.

According to him, Bono’s energy level rose after she had treatment from the physician on Staten Island, and she even stopped using painkillers as a result of the treatment.

A compromise was finally reached between Lederman and Harrison’s estate, and as part of the agreement, the guitar that had Harrison’s autograph had to be destroyed. He breached doctor-patient confidentiality by discussing Harrison’s health with the media, and as a result, he was reprimanded by a state medical board, which issued a $5,000 punishment to him. 

Dr. Gil Lederman: Another Charge Against Him

On the other hand, this is not the end of the story; a patient has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Gil Lederman based on a separate accusation that further involves other medical professionals.

Case details: 

On August 7, 2002, radiation therapy was delivered to the plaintiff, Linda Schrank, who was a travel agent and 49 years old. The treatment was part of a fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery procedure. The acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor, occupies a nerve in the auditory canal.

At Staten Island University Hospital, which is located in Richmond County, the therapy was administered by Dr. Gilbert Lederman, who is an oncologist. In April of 2004, an MRI scan revealed that Schrank’s tumor had not decreased in size.

For the second time, an MRI scan was completed in October of 2004. Based on the findings of the tests, it did not seem that the tumor was lessening in size. Hydrocephalus is a disorder in which the brain maintains an excessive quantity of cerebrospinal fluid, and Schrank was diagnosed with this ailment in the year 2005.

The source of the issue was her tumor, which had not decreased much. The tumor was removed in part by the use of microsurgery, which she had. One of the neurosurgeons at the Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, Dr. John Mangiardi, was the one who performed the surgery. The operations did not seem to be successful in reducing the consequences of the tumor, as stated by Schrank.

As a consequence of this, she also said that the left side of her face is paralyzed. Mangiardi, his practice, John R. Mangiardi, M.D., F.A.C.S., P.C., Staten Island University Hospital, and Cabrini Medical Center were all listed in a lawsuit that Schrank filed against Lederman, his practices, Radiosurgery New York, LLC, and Gilbert Lederman, M.D., P.C., Mangiardi, and their practices. The case was brought against all of these individual entities.

Schrank said that both Lederman and Mangiardi were negligent in their treatment of her neuroma, that their errors constituted malpractice, and that Staten Island University Hospital and Lederman’s practices were individually and collectively accountable for the conduct of both Mangiardi and Lederman. Additionally, she said that Cabrini Medical Center and Lederman’s office took shared responsibility for the conduct that Lederman had taken.

The legal representation for Schrank claims that Lederman did not provide sufficient treatment for the continuous development of the tumor. He contended that the results of the MRI scans ought to have resulted in an immediate referral to a neurologist instead of being delayed.

Although the specialized oncologist for the defense recognized that fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery is a very new approach to the treatment of acoustic neuromas, he argued that it is used by many of the most prestigious healthcare facilities.

Lederman, in his judgment, handled the therapy appropriately. Additionally, the defense counsel questioned the statement made by Schrank’s attorney that Lederman failed to maintain a proper check on Schrank’s tumor after the end of the treatment. The defense counsel maintained that the development that was misunderstood as swelling was caused by radiosurgery (radiotherapy). In addition to this, he argued that the procedures that Mangiardi performed constituted the basis for Schrank’s paralysis.

A recognized medical standard of care was violated by Lederman, according to the verdict reached by the panel. A neurosurgeon was not sent to Schrank on time, as was discovered. A verdict of $2,486,171.60 in damages was reached by the jury, and it was granted to the plaintiffs. 

Conclusion

There are many charges of Medicare fraud, medical malpractice, and ethical transgressions in the complicated case of Dr. Gil Lederman. Lederman, once well-known in the field of oncology, was accused of charging Medicare for procedures that were either experimental or not covered by insurance, and he was also accused of putting his interests ahead of those of his patients.

The accusations made about Lederman’s care of the late Beatle George Harrison and the ensuing legal proceedings draw attention to unethical patient care practices and invasions of patient privacy. Further damaging allegations against Lederman included claims that he engaged in dishonest advertising tactics and coerced patients into costly procedures.

Furthermore, issues about medical malpractice and patient safety are highlighted by Lederman’s treatment of Linda Schrank, a patient who had problems and allegedly received subpar care.

The legal actions taken against Lederman ultimately expose systemic problems in the healthcare sector, such as unethical behavior, illegal billing, and subpar patient care. The jury’s substantial damages judgment to the plaintiff in Linda Schrank’s case underlines the gravity of these accusations.

In summary, the Dr. Gil Lederman case highlights the need to maintain moral principles and responsibility in the medical field, in addition to the necessity of strict regulation to stop fraud and safeguard patient rights.

About the author

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