Local doctor accused of performing fraudulent back surgeries and defrauding millions from Medicare.
Mlive.com reports that Dr. Aria Sabit of Birmingham, MI has been accused of performing lumbar fusions without implanting intended medical devices, misleading patients, and billing for services not performed. He remains in custody after a judge ruled him a flight risk and faces up to 10 years or more in prison.
At least one of the patients listed in the complaint was being treated for a work-related condition. “I never completely healed,” Tonocca Scott of Ypsilanti told the A.P. “I had tingling in my toes, behind my right leg and into my buttocks. I told him it feels like my blood is boiling in my legs.” Another doctor looked at images of his back and found the fusion wasn’t actually performed.
The FBI has issued a statement seeking more evidence against Sabit. “Any patient who wishes to report concerns or information regarding medical services he or she received from Dr. Sabit, and/or to request a copy of his or her medical records, is encouraged to contact the FBI Detroit Field Office Hotline at (313) 965-4500.”
What is a lumbar fusion?
We frequently represent individuals suffering from back injury. Conservative treatment includes, pain medication, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections. A lumbar fusion can be used to stabilize the spine if necessary.
The Mayo Clinic provides an excellent description of this type of surgical procedure: Spinal fusion is surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine. It involves techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. Bone or a bone-like material will be placed within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit.
It can take up to a year to fully heal from a lumbar fusion and most surgeons will recommend permanent restrictions. Spinal fusion can also cause the levels above and below to degenerate resulting in even more complications.
Many people recover from a lumbar fusion and get back to gainful employment. Workers’ compensation should pay wage loss benefits and cover any medical treatment. We hope this terrible news does not discourage our clients from getting needed medical care.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by CarbonNYC [in SF!].