9 more physicians charged in $950M spine surgery kickback scheme: 7 things to know

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | June 29, 2018 | Print  |

Nine additional physicians join 15 others charged in an illegal 15-year spine surgery bribery scheme at Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., according to The Orange County Register.

Here are seven things to know:

1. The nine additional physicians charged are accused of being involved in more than $40 million in illegal kickbacks. The total scheme totaled $950 million in surgeries performed at the hospital after physicians referred thousands of patients to Pacific Hospital in return for bribes.

2. Orthopedic surgeon Danie Capen, MD, agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge involving illegal kickbacks after submitting $142 million in claims and receiving nearly $56 million in kickbacks.

3. Timothy Hunt, MD, agreed to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge. He referred hundreds of patients to Pacific Hospital for spine surgery. Additionally, former Pacific Hospital CFO of physician management George Hammer agreed to plead guilty to tax charges for falsely classifying illegal kickbacks in the hospital's corporate tax filings.

4. Chiropractor Lauren Papa agreed to plea guilty to the conspiracy charge. She referred hundreds of patients to a neurosurgeon at Pacific Hospital. Orthopedic surgeon Tiffany Rogers, MD, was also listed in the indictment. It is unclear if she agreed to plead guilty.

5. Brian Carrico and two companies he partially owns were charged in connection to the kickback scheme and are accused of being responsible for $80 million in claims. Mr. Carrico and the companies allegedly received $56 million for referring patients to Pacific Hospital.

6. William Parker was charged in a different indictment for his role in the kickback scheme. He is accused of working with Mr. Carrico and the two companies involved.

7. The new defendants will appear before the U.S. District Court Santa Ana for arraignments in July.

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