Report: Asante settles Medicare fraud allegations

MEDFORD, Ore. – NBC5 News is continuing to look into reports of drug diversion claims that may have resulted in the deaths of multiple patients at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

However, it seems this investigation comes on the heels of what the Lund Report is calling a “lengthy federal probe into a whistleblower lawsuit claiming fraudulent billing.”

According to the media outlet, just weeks ago, Asante management quietly settled litigation stemming from a federal Medicare fraud probe.

It says the probe was based on a whistleblower lawsuit, filed by former Asante doctor, Nicolas Engstrom, that accused management of ignoring billing fraud.

In the suit, Dr. Engstrom, a cardiothoracic surgeon who worked at RRMC, claimed Dr. Charles Carmeci billed for procedures he didn’t do, as well as unnecessary procedures.

The Lund Report says Dr. Engstrom became aware of the alleged fraud in 2019, after nurses and other hospital staff told him about Carmeci’s alleged actions.

After the FBI investigated allegations in the lawsuit, the federal government then joined the suit to recoup funds.

In October, Asante and Carmeci reached an undisclosed settlement with the government.

According to the Lund Report, no criminal charges have resulted from this investigation.

Dr. Carmeci is still listed online as a physician at Asante, where tax documents show he was the health systems highest paid employee, at $2 million in 2022.

We reached out to Asante for comment about the Lund Report’s article, we haven’t heard back.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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