6 DOJ actions in orthopedics, spine so far in 2020

Written by Angie Stewart | April 24, 2020 | Print  |

The U.S. Department of Justice has gotten involved in at least six cases involving orthopedic and spine surgeons or entities so far in 2020:

The DOJ intervened in two whistleblower cases alleging that SpineFrontier illegally paid over $8 million in kickbacks to spine surgeons from October 2013 through December 2018.

Tennessee podiatrist Timothy Abbott, DPM, pleaded guilty to seven counts of illegally distributing controlled substances, the DOJ announced Feb. 26.

The DOJ filed an anti-kickback case against former Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health spine surgeon Wilson Asfora, MD, accusing him of using implants he had a financial stake in. His lawyers are seeking to get the case dismissed.

The DOJ filed a lawsuit alleging Indianapolis-based Community Health Network illegally paid specialists "excessive" salaries in an "aggressive," "defensive" strategy to keep referrals within the system.

A federal jury convicted neurologist Mohammed Zahoor, MD, and three other physicians of participating in a $150 million healthcare fraud scheme, the DOJ announced Feb. 4. 

Federal prosecutors sentenced several former Insys Therapeutics executives to prison for their roles in an opioid kickback scheme involving its highly addictive painkiller, Subsys. In 2018, Insys paid $150 million to settle claims brought by the DOJ. 

More articles on spine and orthopedics:
AAOS publishes clinical considerations for return to elective surgery
97% of medical practices suffer COVID-19 financial hit: 5 observations for orthopedics
Investor pays $49M for Arizona spine, orthopedic hospital property

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