Spine surgeon settles with DOJ for $4.4M in whistleblower case

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced a $4.4 million settlement with spine surgeon Wilson Asfora in a whistleblower case.

According to a news release from the Joseph Greenwald & Laake law firm, which represented the whistleblowers, Asfora settled for the $4.4 million sum and a six-year exclusion from all federal payer programs, effectively precluding him from practicing medicine over that period.

Asfora, a South Dakota neurosurgeon, was alleged to have violated the False Claims Act by two fellow surgeons who filed the complaint as whistleblowers in 2016. The whistleblowers alleged that Asfora sold his own medical devices for surgeries he performed, creating an unlawful economic incentive for him to use (and overuse) his own devices on unsuspecting patients.

Included in the allegations was the claim that Asfora performed medically unnecessary spinal fusion surgeries on a number of patients, leading to the whistleblowers attempting to persuade…

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