Sanford Health to stop using devices made by its staff surgeon under federal probe

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health will suspend the use of some medical devices sold by Medical Designs, a devicemaker owned by one of the health system's neurosurgeons who is at the center of a federal investigation, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader

The suspended devices include cages used in spinal fusion surgeries and plates used in neck fusions. The devices will be suspended on Aug. 1. They will be replaced with similar devices on the market. 

Wilson Asfora, MD, who owns Medical Designs and is a neurosurgeon at Sanford Health, was accused in a lawsuit of performing unnecessary spine surgeries using medical devices from his own company. Two of his colleagues filed the lawsuit, claiming Dr. Asfora  illegally profited from the devices. The U.S. Justice Department has since intervened in the case. 

Micah Aberson, Sanford’s executive vice president, told the Argus Leader that the decision to stop using the products was not related to clinical outcomes, but instead it was to remove "the distraction of the economics related to the device … from the conversation."

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