On February 21, 2014, the primary defendant in CPM’s spine surgery qui tam case—Michael Drobot—was indicted on federal charges, along with California State Senator Ronald Calderon, and his brother Tom.  Drobot has been indicted for the conduct described in CPM’s whistleblower complaint, filed back in May 2012.  The complaint, and the subsequent FBI indictment, allege that Drobot paid millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to doctors in order to steer spinal surgeries to his hospital—Pacific Hospital of Long Beach.

As described in CPM’s complaint (click on the link below), Drobot was part of a vast web of hospital operators, marketers, surgeons, chiropractors, and middlemen who systematically paid kickbacks to facilitate often unnecessary spine surgeries on workers comp patients.  The defendants then overbilled insurance companies for the surgeries, making hundreds of millions in profits. 

Although not discussed in the FBI indictment, the CPM complaint vividly describes a scheme in which the hospitals and surgeons also used counterfeit spinal hardware in surgeries, endangering patient health and allowing them to make even more money.   

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