North Carolina physician faces prison for reusing single-use devices in more than 1,500 procedures

Anita Jackson, MD, 59, an otolaryngologist who practiced in Raleigh, N.C., faces prison time after being convicted of 20 counts, including adulterating medical devices and fabricating health records.

Dr. Jackson was convicted by a jury of repeatedly reusing Entellus XprESS devices — designed for single use in balloon sinuplasty procedures — on patients between 2011 and 2017. She used 36 of the devices during 1,555 surgeries, including 919 on Medicare patients, according to a Jan. 27 Justice Department news release.

The jury convicted Dr. Jackson of 10 counts of illegal remunerations, three counts of making false statements relating to healthcare benefits, two counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of mail fraud and one account of adulterating medical devices for use on patients with the intent to defraud and mislead. 

She was also convicted of one count of conspiracy, which stems from Dr. Jackson conspiring with her staff to commit the scheme, according to the Justice Department. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a two-year mandatory prison sentence. Ms. Jackson also could be fined more than $250,000 in addition to being ordered to forfeit $4.79 million she netted from Medicare in performing the surgeries.

"This doctor put profit ahead of patients, luring in Medicare patients with free 'sinus spas' and risking infection to those patients by reusing the same single-use surgical devices on them again and again," U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in the release.

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