Sanford Health fires surgeon amid federal investigation

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Sanford Health has fired one of its surgeons who is the subject of a federal fraud investigation.

Neurosurgeon Wilson Asfora owns a company that sells devices used in spine surgeries. Two Sanford doctors in 2016 filed a lawsuit accusing Asfora of illegally profiting by using those devices in spine surgeries at Sanford Health in violation of anti-kickback laws. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating.

Steve Landon, Asfora’s attorney, says the surgeon’s termination is effective Sept. 24. Sanford Health hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Last month, three top Sanford executives defended Asfora, calling the accusations false. Landon says the allegations are “bogus.”

Earlier this month, the hospital suspended its use of some of Asfora’s medical devices.