United States Pursues FCA Allegations Against Doctors for Spinal Implant Bribes

According to a DoJ press release, the United States has filed complaints against Dr. Aria Sabit, Reliance Medical Systems, Apex Medical Technologies, Kronos Spinal Technologies, and the company owners Brett Berry, John Hoffman, and Adam Pike under the False Claims Act alleging that Apex and Kronos paid physicians in order to get them to use Reliance spinal implants.  Specifically, the United States alleges that Reliance funneled improper payments to Dr. Sabit through Apex in exchange for using Reliance spinal implants in his surgeries.  Between May 2010 and July 2012, Dr. Sabit used Reliance implants in 90 percent of his patients in exchange for $438,570.  It is alleged that the payments induced Dr. Sabit to perform medically unnecessary surgeries on patients who did not need spinal implants.

“Improper payments to physicians can alter a physician’s judgment about patients’ true health care needs and drive up health care costs for everyone,” said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Justice Department is committed to enforcing the laws that prohibit such payments.”

The lawsuit was initially brought by Dr. Cary Savitch and Dr. Gary Proffett under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.

To report fraud, please contact Frohsin & Barger.