Former Sanford Health neurosurgeon to pay $4.4M to resolve kickback charges


Neurosurgeon Wilson Asfora, MD, and two medical device distributors he owns, Medical Designs and Sicage, agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle False Claims Act allegations.

Medical Designs and Sicage will also pay an additional $100,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the open payments program by failing to report to CMS Dr. Asfora's ownership interests in the companies.

Dr. Asfora, Medical Designs and Sicage will not be permitted to participate in federal healthcare programs for six years, the Department of Justice announced May 3.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health, the neurosurgeon's former employer, had previously agreed to pay $20 million and submit annual audits for the next five years to settle his role in the kickback scheme.

In October, Medtronic also agreed to pay over $9.2 million to settle allegations that it footed the bill for events held at a restaurant Dr. Asfora owned to induce him to use certain implants.

Two surgeons at Sanford Health, Dustin Bechtold, MD, and Bryan Wellman, MD, blew the whistle on Dr. Asfora's alleged defrauding of CMS.

They will receive $880,000 of the settlement proceeds.

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