Missouri neurosurgery doctor, practices, and fiance pay $825,000 to settle whistleblowers’ kickback allegations

by Ben Vernia | March 24th, 2023

On March 22, the Department of Justice announced that a Missouri neurosurgeon, his fiance, and their two companies had agreed to settle False Claims Act allegations original brought by seven whistleblowers, that they solicited kickbacks from medical device companies. According to DOJ’s press release:

Dr. Sonjay Fonn and Ms. Deborah Seeger of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and their professional companies, Midwest Neurosurgeons, LLC and DS Medical, LLC, have agreed to pay $825,000 to resolve a lawsuit alleging that they violated the False Claims Act by soliciting and receiving kickbacks from spinal implant companies.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit alleged that Dr. Fonn, Ms. Seeger, Midwest Neurosurgeons, and DS Medical solicited and received remuneration from spinal implant companies in return for arranging for the use of those companies’ products in Dr. Fonn’s surgeries, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Anti‑Kickback Statute prohibits soliciting or receiving anything of value in return for the referral of items or services covered by federal health care programs. The statute is intended to ensure that medical providers’ judgments are not compromised by improper financial incentives.

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The government announced that the amount the whistleblowers will receive from the settlement has not yet been determined.

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