California spine surgeon sentenced to 30 months in prison after $5M kickback scheme

Written by Alan Condon | November 25, 2019 | Print  |

Spine surgeon Daniel Capen, MD, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Nov. 22 after pleading guilty to conspiracy and receiving kickbacks at the now defunct Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, Calif., reports the Long Beach Post News.

Dr. Capen received more than $5 million in kickbacks to perform hundreds of spinal surgeries at the hospital. He referred patients to Pacific Hospital and used medical devices from a company affiliated with the hospital to perform surgeries.

Prosecutors said Dr. Capen was responsible for roughly $142 million of the hospital's insurance claims between 1998 and 2013, for which it was paid around $56 million.

He was among several physicians paid to refer patients to Pacific Hospital for surgeries in a 15-year scheme.

Ten people have been convicted for their roles in the kickback scheme, including the hospital's owner Michael Drobot, who is serving a five-year sentence.

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