6th physician settles claims related to sham consulting program

A Virginia physician agreed to pay $1.8 million to resolve allegations that he accepted kickbacks from a Massachusetts medical devicemaker, the Department of Justice said April 24.

Jeffrey Carlson, MD, is the sixth surgeon to settle with the federal government over kickbacks related to devicemaker SpineFrontier. The federal government filed a False Claims Act complaint against SpineFrontier and its executives in March. The government accused SpineFrontier of paying kickbacks to spine surgeons on its own and through a sham third-party company called Impartial Medical Experts. 

According to federal officials, Dr. Carlson received kickbacks as sham consulting fees that he submitted through Impartial Medical Experts. As part of the settlement, Dr. Carlson admitted he estimated purported consulting hours based on how many times he used a SpineFrontier product in a month, rather than tracking actual time. He also admitted to accepting thousands of dollars in free meals from SpineFrontier, among other actions.

Read the full release from the Justice Department here

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