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HomeCrimeDoctor Convicted Of Fraud, Found Guilty of Reusing Single-Use Tools For Sinus...

Doctor Convicted Of Fraud, Found Guilty of Reusing Single-Use Tools For Sinus Surgeries

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Anita Louise Jackson operated three offices of Greater Carolina Ear, Nose and Throat. Credit Linkedin

A North Carolina doctor was found guilty of fraud after being caught for repeatedly using single-use sinus surgery tools. 59-year-old Anita Louise Jackson was an ear, nose, and throat specialist who ran the Raleigh, Lumberton, and Rockingham offices of Greater Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat (GCENT).

Jackson was found guilty of charges including adulterating medical devices for use on patients with the intent to defraud and mislead, fabricating medical and healthcare records, paying illegal remuneration, mail fraud, and conspiracy following a three-week federal jury trial and five hours of jury deliberation. Between 2011 and the end of 2017, Jackson was found guilty of performing more than 1400 surgeries for Medicare patients while using re-used equipment. She was detained pending sentencing after the verdict.

Jackson had offices for her practice in Raleigh, Lumberton, and Rockingham, where she would perform balloon sinuplasty using the Entellus XprESS, a tool that has FDA approval. She performed 919 Medicare beneficiaries’ balloon sinuplasty surgeries to treat chronic sinusitis between 2011 and the end of 2017.

The FDA approved Entellus XprESS for use in the execution of balloon sinuplasty procedures, but only on one patient, during a single surgery. The device must then be thrown away. However, Jackson only acquired 36 new Entellus devices between 2012 and 2017, despite at times being the highest-paid Medicare provider in the country for balloon sinuplasty services.

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Evidence established that Jackson deceived her patients and failed to inform them that a procedure involving a tainted device was being performed on them. The defendant acknowledged on cross-examination that she had the money to buy each patient a new device but opted not to do so, which was supported by the evidence.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley stated that Jackson prioritized financial gain over patient care, luring Medicare patients with free “sinus spas” and putting those patients at risk of infection by repeatedly using single-use surgical instruments on them. According to him, every American taxpayer will bear the cost if doctors are permitted to defraud Medicare by performing unsupported medical procedures to boost their profits. However, the victims as well as senior Americans on Medicare who are entitled to high-quality care–are affected the most. He said that his office is pleased to have collaborated with the forensic organizations that assisted in prosecuting the doctor.

Based on the maximum sentences for each charge for which she was found guilty, Jackson could spend up to 40 years behind bars and pay fines of more than $250,000. Medicare fraud forfeiture totaling $4,794,039.31 has already been decided by the jury.

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