2 more spine surgeons sentenced for roles in $40M kickback scheme


Two more spine surgeons received prison sentences March 18 for their roles in a $40 million kickback scheme at the now-defunct physician-owned Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Douglas Won, MD, was sentenced to five years in prison, and Michael Rimlawi, DO, received a seven and a half year prison term. The two surgeons were also ordered to pay almost $30 million in restitution, according to the report.

A third spine surgeon involved in the case, Shawn Henry, DO, received a seven and a half year prison sentence March 17 and was ordered to pay almost $6 million in restitution.

The three spine surgeons were found guilty of bribery and both paying and accepting kickbacks to steer surgeries to Forest Park.

Pain management physician Mrugeshkumar Shah, MD, also received a three and a half year prison term for his role in the scheme.

Prosecutors said the physicians referred patients to the hospital in exchange for money to advertise their practices, which helped some of their practices grow significantly.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary said the case should deter others from engaging in bribery and kickback schemes, according to the report. The case could have long-term ramifications for physician-hospital financial arrangements involving marketing payments, which are widespread in the healthcare industry.

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