A California orthopedic surgeon has been convicted of 10 health insurance fraud felonies after defrauding Medicare and Medi-Cal by administering excessive and medically unwarranted X-rays to his patients.
Surgeon Gary Wisner was convicted after a two-week trial in the Sacramento County Superior Court, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“When doctors abuse their power, it always comes at the expense of the patients in their care,” Bonta said. “Gary Wisner abused the position he held as a healthcare provider by subjecting his patients to unnecessary procedures to gain additional profit. I would like to express my gratitude to the San Joaquin County Attorney’s Office for assisting us during this investigation. The California Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable and protect those who attempt to use the Medi-Cal program for personal gain.”
Read next: Twenty-three people indicted for massive life insurance scam
In November 2016, representatives of the California Department of Justice’s Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA) were notified by multiple government agencies that Wisner was suspected of overcharging Medi-Cal and Medicare programs. . DMFEA’s research found that Wisner would administer X-rays to patients, even during routine office visits, and X-ray multiple parts of a patient’s body, regardless of whether it was related to the patient’s medical problem.
Evidence presented at the trial showed that between 2012 and 2016, Wisner subjected 10 patients in his clinic to hundreds of unnecessary X-rays.
Wisner is also the subject of an independent criminal complaint filed by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office for employee compensation fraud. That case is still pending.