South Dakota neurosurgeon to pay $4.4M to resolve kickback allegations

A Sioux Falls, S.D.-based neurosurgeon and the two medical device distributorships he owns will pay $4.4 million to resolve False Claims Act violation allegations, the U.S. Justice Department said May 3.

Neither Wilson Asfora, MD, nor his Medical Designs and Sicage distributorships will be allowed to participate in federal healthcare programs for six years under terms of the settlement.

The federal government accused the companies of paying Dr. Asfora distributions in exchange for using their devices. The companies also allegedly resold other manufacturers devices and split profits with Dr. Asfora for devices he used. The companies separately paid $100,000 in penalties to settle allegations of violating the Open Payments program because Dr. Asfora's ownership and payments weren't reported to CMS.

The settlement also resolves allegations that Dr. Asfora submitted claims for medically unnecessary procedures using devices from the distributorships.

The U.S. also accused Dr. Asfora of accepting kickbacks from Medtronic for using SynchroMedII infusion pumps. Medtronic allegedly paid for large meals at a restaurant Dr. Asfora and his wife own in exchange for his use of the pumps.

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