Raleigh doctor guilty of using “unsanitary” surgical devices, other counts in Medicare fraud case

Raleigh, NC (WTVD) – A Raleigh doctor was convicted of reusing “unsanitary” disposable equipment on unsuspecting patients during surgeries, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Anita Louise Jackson was also convicted of adulterating medical devices for use on patients with intent to defraud, mislead, fabricate medical and healthcare records, pay illegal emoluments, mail fraud and conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Jackson, who ran Greater Carolina Ear, Nose and Throat, with offices in Raleigh, Lumberton and Rockingham, was found guilty of 20 counts after a three-week federal jury trial.

Previous story: A doctor who helped lead the Durham County Health Department’s COVID-19 response indicted by a federal grand jury

Authorities said they used equipment to perform balloon sinusoplasty, an in-office surgery to treat chronic sinusitis, during more than 1,400 surgeries on Medicare patients between 2011 and 2017. Jackson used a device called the Entellus XprESS that was approved by the FDA. And the American medicine is one patient during one surgery and then it is disposed of.

Officials said the numbers simply didn’t add up — despite the process being done more than a thousand times, Jackson only received 36 new Entellus devices between 2012 and 2017.

“This doctor puts profit before patients, luring Medicare patients with ‘sinus spas’ and risking infection for those patients by reapplying the same single-use surgical devices on them over and over again,” Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney told Eastern Magazine. . North Carolina County. “If we allow doctors to abandon Medicare to monetize their profits by performing unsubsidized medical procedures — every American taxpayer eats the cost. But the harm is felt by the victims — patients who deserve better, elderly Americans on Medicare who are entitled to quality care.” Jackson’s blatant disregard for her patients’ health led to her conviction on several federal counts.”

Evidence during the investigation showed that Jackson was misled and did not tell her patients that they were receiving surgery with an adulterated device and that during a thorough examination, she stated that she had enough money to buy new devices for each patient but chose not to. So.

Federal prosecutors also said that between 2014 and 2018, Jackson used her practices to bill Medicare more than $46 million for balloon sinus correction procedures and received more than $4.79 million from Medicare for these surgeries alone.

“The FDA continues its commitment to vigorously prosecute those who deviate from required use standards for medical devices,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder, Miami Field Office of Criminal Investigation. “We will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect consumers from potentially dangerous products.”

Jackson was also convicted on 10 counts of illegally soliciting her patients to have sinus surgery by failing to collect co-payments. In doing so, Jackson urged her patients to come into the office for a “free” sinus spa and for treatments they might not need or might not have agreed to if the full out-of-pocket cost was disclosed to the patient.

It also wrote off or concealed the full cost of the procedure on any bills sent to the patient after their visits, which could be up to $1,500 for Medicare beneficiaries, officials said.

Jackson was also convicted of three counts of making false statements regarding health care benefits, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and three counts of mail fraud.

“It is disturbing when Medicare-enrolled fraudsters take advantage of vulnerable people and defraud federal health care programs for personal gain,” said Special Agent Tamala E. Miles of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

Jackson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud, 10 years for paying unlawful damages, five years for conspiracy and making false statements, and three years for fraud with intent to defraud or mislead. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence, consecutive with any other sentence.

Jackson also faces fines exceeding $250,000, and the jury has ordered a forfeiture of $4,794,039.31.

There is still a federal civil case pending against Jackson as well.

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