Spine surgeon convicted over kickback conspiracy

Orthopedic spine surgeon Steven Valentino, DO, of Haverford, Pa., was convicted for a medication kickback scheme with a Houston pharmacy, the Justice Department said Sept. 21.

Dr. Valentino, 65, collected kickbacks for referring, ordering and arranging for prescriptions to be filled by a Houston pharmacy, the Justice Department said. From May 2013 to July 2017, the pharmacy billed CMS and a Department of Labor workers' compensation program about $2.5 million.

The pharmacy was paid about $1.1 million for medications referred, ordered and arranged by Dr. Valentino and his office manager in exchange for kickbacks, the Justice Department said.

The surgeon was convicted of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, and two counts of receiving them. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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