A doctor in Michigan is currently facing 100 years in prison on federal charges for deceiving patients, fraudulent billing, and even the death of a patient. Medical malpractice attorneys at Pintas & Mullins report on this case and others like it throughout the country.
The neurosurgeon, Aria Sabit, surrendered his medical license in California in 2013 after a series of accusations very similar to those he is now charged with in Michigan. He performed 200 unnecessary surgeries in California, resulting in dozens of lawsuits, infections, permanent injuries, and at least one patient death.
After injuring patients in California Sabit moved his practice to the Detroit-area, continuing to botch surgeries and bill Medicare for millions of dollars of services promised but not provided to patients. One of these victims, Tonocca Scott, was recently profiled by the Washington Times.
In the profile, Scott details his encounter with Dr. Sabit, describing him as having "swagger off the charts." Scott suffered from bulging discs in his spine and agreed to undergo surgery by Sabit. About a year after that surgery, Scott is now in worse shape than ever, wearing a back brace and taking painkillers constantly.
Scott was promised a spinal fusion surgery, which would have healed his bulging discs and relieved his pain. Looking at his medical records and x-ray images of his back, doctors have found that this surgery was never performed. There are four other patients in Michigan who have come forward with similar stories, but the FBI believes there are many, many more.
This is the basis of many allegations against Sabit. According to federal reports, Sabit submitted $32 million in Medicare and Medicaid claims throughout his Michigan tenure, enjoying $1.8 million in profits. Like Scott, most patients never received the promised medical devices, though Sabit billed the government for them.
We recently reported on a bankrupted company that manufactured fake screws that were implanted in for several years, causing devastating injuries. The company, Spinal Solutions, manufactured mixed in their own hardware with medical-grade screws to be sold to surgeons like Sabit. Unknowingly, doctors who ordered medical hardware from Spinal Solutions incidentally implanted toxic knockoffs in patients, many of whom suffered serious consequences.
For the most part, these practices that jeopardized patients' health were done to increase the profits of one or two people. This type of greed is not only illegal, but puts everyone at risk of serious, life-changing consequences. Healthcare fraud is exorbitantly common and most often caught by private citizens who notice unsavory practices and report it.