David Ming Pon, MD, an ophthalmologist based in Florida, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for convincing patients they needed treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration when they didn't have the disease at all, according to a Medscape report.
Here are five key notes:
1. Dr. Pon convinced around 600 patients they had wet age-related macular degeneration and needed laser photocoagulation to avoid going blind. The patients didn't have AMD, but decided to undergo the procedure at Dr. Pon's recommendation and he billed Medicare for the procedures.
2. Dr. Pon was convicted of billing Medicare for around $10 million in unnecessary procedures for ADM. According to the report, he also "faked" the procedure.
3. A jury trial found Dr. Pon guilty in October 2015 of performing false procedures for AMD on patients who didn't have AMD and then billing Medicare for the procedures. His patients also underwent unnecessary diagnostic tests.
4. While in custody, Dr. Pon suffered a transient ischemic attack and lost his medical license.
5. Two eye surgeons testified against Dr. Pon and hope others will be deterred from committing similar acts by the sentencing.