Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Surgeon in kickback scheme employed unlicensed practitioner in steroid clinic
October 21, 2014
Surgeon in kickback scheme employed unlicensed practitioner in steroid clinic
Gross (Courtesy NJAG's OFFICE)
Michael L Gross
Hackensack orthopedic surgeon charged with taking kickbacks in exchange for referrals to a network of Bergen County-based diagnostic imaging centers allowed a medical school graduate to distribute steroids at his clinic without a license, records show. Michael L. Gross entered into a consent agreement with the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners to avoid any further action following a formal reprimand, the board reported. Besides hiring the unlicensed graduate, Gross “failed to adequately supervise the treatment of patients” at his Active Center for Health & Wellness, which provided hormone therapy, it said. Gross testified before the board’s Preliminary Evaluation Committee in October 2012, records show. Both he and the board, “being desirous of resolving this matter without formal proceedings,” entered into the consent agreement, the board reported. Gross, who operates Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Hackensack and Westwood, paid a $30,000 fine, plus $10,000 for investigative costs, expert fees and attorney time, and agreed as part of the deal to take two courses — one on ethics and the other on “blood analyses and physical examinations” — at his own expense. Gross became known last year as the doctor who declared suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez injury-free after the team shut him down for a strained left quadriceps without examining him. He reportedly relied on the results of an MRI. Gross was among seven doctors charged by state authorities with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from the owner of a network of diagnostic imaging centers in Bergen County and elsewhere in New Jersey in exchange for referrals. James W. Cahill, 51, of Franklin Lakes, referred hundreds of scans worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Hackensack office to the illicit organization run by Rehan “Ray” Zuberi, the owner of Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates (DIA) of Hackensack, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said yesterday. In exchange, Cahill received $4,000 or so in gift cards, some of which he used at a boating supply store in Lodi, Hoffman said. Cahill’s wife used a $1,000 gift card at a Louis Vuitton store in Hackensack on Christmas Eve 2012, he added. Gross, meanwhile, referred thousands of scans, which were billed by DIA to insurers for hundreds of thousands of dollars, Hoffman said. In turn, he got $4,500 in gift cards that he and his practice’s administrator used on luxury items, the attorney general said. “On one occasion in May 2013, he allegedly used a $1,000 Nieman Marcus gift certificate to partially pay for a $5,627 purchase, which included a $3,000 gown,” he said. “It is also alleged that a DIA employee made purchases estimated at more than $8,000 at a health spa owned by Gross.” The arrests were the latest phase of “Operation RayScam,” which found that Zuberi, 45, enlisted his wife, his father and two brothers-in-law in the alleged scheme. http://cliffviewpilot.com/hackensack-surgeon-in-kickback-scheme-employed-unlicensed-practitioner-in-steroid-clinic/