RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTW) — A federal grand jury has accused a North Carolina doctor of Medicare fraud and other crimes while she operated a medical practice with offices in Lumberton, Rockingham and other areas of the state.
An indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District for the Eastern District of North Carolina, says Anita Louis Jackson “engaged in a series of crimes, frauds, and other acts that abused the trust of both the Medicare program and her patients.”
Jackson, a registered Medicare provider who ran the Greater Carolina Ear, Nose & Throat practice, is charged with adulteration of medical devices; paying illegal remunerations; making and using materially false healthcare documents; mail fraud; and conspiracy.
According to the indictment, Jackson’s practice billed Medicare more than $46 million between 2014 and the end of 2018 for “allegedly rendering more than 1,200 incidents of “balloon sinuplasty services to more than 700 patients.” The practice received more than $5.4 million for the services.
During part of that time period, the indictment says “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.”
The indictment says Jackson reused balloon sinuplasty devices, used to treat chronic sinus issues, on her patients that were meant to be used only once. The devices routinely contact blood, phlegm and other body fluids when inserted into the sinuses, and are not supposed to be used.
Jackson also is accused of hiding how much her Medicare patients were obligated to pay for the
balloon sinuplasty services that she was billing to Medicare in their names. The indictment says the practice “routinely led patients to believe they owed either nothing, or only a small copayment
of up to $50″ when, in fact, they were responsible for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars.
Jackson also allegedly billed Medicare for millions in balloon sinuplasty services without creating and
maintaining proper records and fabricated, backdated and forged records to deceive auditors to prevent the Medicare program from recouping proceeds from the practice.