Ohio surgeon to pay $7.2M for kickback scheme

Aurora, Ohio, general surgeon Amy Swegan, MD, pleaded guilty to accepting $291,000 in kickbacks from telemedicine companies, the Justice Department said Sept. 12. She will be required to pay $7.2 million in restitution.

Dr. Swegan, 47, was paid $30 for alleged consultations she performed for multiple companies from July 2017 to February 2019, the Justice Department said. She approved prescriptions for thousands of patients for pain creams, genetic cancer tests and durable medical equipment including orthotic braces, despite patients neither requesting nor needing them.

She admitted to ignoring warning signs that she was participating in unethical or illegal practices, the Justice Department said. She will be sentenced December 14, with each of her three charges carrying maximum penalties of either five or 10 years in prison, along with maximum fines of $250,000 apiece.

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