Asante and employee reach settlement with government

MEDFORD, Ore. – Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and one of its physicians, have agreed to pay $430,000 to settle health care fraud allegations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Defense Health Agency, after former Asante doctor, Nicholas Engstrom, filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

Dr. Charles Carmeci is an Asante cardiothoracic surgeon.

He was accused of billing patients for unnecessary procedures and procedures he didn’t do, by his former co-worker Dr. Engstrom.

Engstrom says he raised the issue to Asante leadership but was then retaliated against.

He later agreed to a settlement with Asante.

The government joined the suit.

The government alleged that Asante and Dr. Carmeci knowingly submitted false claims for payment for certain surgeries, to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.

They allege the claims did not meet the criteria of reimbursement or were otherwise improper.

However, the government makes clear, the $430,000 settlement is not an admission of liability by Dr. Carmeci or the hospital.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office adds that both parties deny the allegations.

We reached out to Asante for comment again today, they provided us this statement.

“With this matter resolved, we move forward and continue what we do best: providing care for our communities.”

If you want to read our story on Engstrom’s perspective on filing the whistleblower lawsuit, you click here.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

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.
Skip to content