Clinics offering 'miraculous' treatment for diabetic foot ulcers hit with federal fraud charges

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A federal grand jury has indicted the lawyer behind a ‘miraculous' diabetes treatment widely panned as sham medicine.

G. Ford Gilbert's IV insulin infusions for diabetes-related wounds, kidney problems and cognitive decline have helped him build a nationwide system of clinics purporting to offer Medicare- and insurance-approved treatments.

But a months-long investigation by inewsource found that Trina Health was marketing his protocols across 17 states and internationally, even though investigations, audits and payment denials had shut down several locations.

The public interest journalism site reports that the American Diabetes Association dissuades patients from seeking Gilbert's “Artificial Pancreas Treatment,” saying people with diabetes are a particularly vulnerable population.

Experts from Harvard, the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and others attacked Ford's methodology as unproven “hype” that provides patients false hope. Infusion also can prevent diabetics from getting better because it allows them to overlook the known effectiveness of blood sugar control.

Last Monday, federal officials unsealed an indictment against Ford, who now faces charges of public corruption, bribery, racketeering, healthcare fraud and wire fraud.

Before the indictment, Ford boasted about his success.

“It's basically a land rush to open clinics, because people see that we help their very ill diabetic patients,” Gilbert told inewsource. “Not one doctor who has ever treated patients said it doesn't work.”

Neither Gilbert nor his attorney responded to the website's request for comment after the indictment went public.