Hospitals

Behind bars for fraud: Neurosurgeon Dr. Aria Sabit receives nearly 20-year prison sentence — 8 key insights

Written by  Megan Wood, Beckers Spine – 10 January 2017

Neurosurgeon Aria Sabit, MD, received a 235-month prison sentence today for fraud, as reported by Medscape.

Here are eight things you need to know:

Criminal history

1. Dr. Sabit possesses a significant criminal history, dating back to 2010. While practicing at Ventura, Calif.-based Community Memorial Hospital, Dr. Sabit “invested $5,000 in a physician-owned distributorship of screws, plates, rods and other pieces of spinal instrumentation,” according to Medscape. He earned profits from the POD, called Apex Medical Technologies, and urged his hospital to use the equipment. Dr. Sabit performed numerous “unnecessary surgeries,” receiving illegal kickbacks. Court documents revealed the Apex Medical Technologies illegal kickbacks totaled $440,000.

2. As a result of these unnecessary surgeries, about 30 of Dr. Sabit’s patients sued him for malpractice. Community Memorial Hospital cut ties with Dr. Sabit in December 2010 to protect patients.

3. With a California career in the rearview, Dr. Sabit took his practice to Detroit. His fraudulent ways were far from over, however. He convinced patients to receive spinal fusions with metal instrumentation, but “subsequent diagnostic imaging revealed that he never installed the hardware, just bone dowels, and never achieved fusion,” according to Medscape.

 

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Drue De Angelis

Drue is Managing Partner for The De Angelis Group, Executive Search firm exclusively for the Ortho & Spine industry.

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