RALEIGH— A physician who once worked in Richmond County has been indicted on federal charges including reusing medical devices and altering documents.
Federal prosecutors allege that 58-year-old Anita Lousie Jackson “billed Medicare more than $46 million for allegedly rendering more than 1,200 incidents of ‘balloon sinuplasty’ services to more than 700 patients” from 2014-2018.
Jackson’s company, Greater Carolina Ear, Nose, & Throat, P.A, reportedly received $5.4 million for those services.
Jackson operated her company in Rockingham, Lumberton and other locations in Eastern North Carolina, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say Jackson was “the top-paid provider of balloon sinuplasty services in the United States, despite the location of her practice outside of a major metropolitan area.”
Although the devices for balloon sinuplasty are supposed to be for single use, Jackson allegedly only bought 30 within the four-year time frame.
“She reused the devices as a routine business practice, sometimes inserting the same device into more than one patient on the same business day,” the indictment reads. “Jackson failed to inform her patients that she was reusing the devices, and instead, represented on ‘Pre-Op Instruction for Sinus Spa’ forms that the devices were sterile”
Prosecutors say Jackson “netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits by engaging in this practice.”
Jackson is also accused of not telling her Medicare patients that they owed a copayment — although Medicare is only obligated to pay 80%. Prosecutors add that Jackson used template records and even fabricated records to get around Medicare audits.
Jackson is charged with: adulteration of medical devices, 10 counts of paying illegal remunerations; three counts of making false statements relating to health care benefits; two counts of aggravated identity theft; three counts of mail fraud; and conspiracy.
If convicted, Jackson faces more than $250,000 in fines, in addition to: up to 20 years imprisonment for mail fraud; 10 years for paying illegal remunerations; and five years for conspiracy and making false statements. (The press release did not specify if that was five years for each charge or a total of the two charges together.)
According to a press release, the ID theft charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence “consecutive to any other punishment.”
Prosecutors ask that anyone who may be a victim in this case contact the inspector general’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services at 336-542-1494 to make a report.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.