LifeSpine says Greenwood Doctor Marsha Lucas did not receive compensation in alleged kickback scheme
The husband of Marsha Lucas of Greenwood – who is listed along with three other Mississippi physicians as a consultant to Life Spine, a medical devices company charged in a major federal kickback case – has contacted HPNM with documents that contradict court filings filed by whistleblower plaintiffs in the civil action.
Marsha Lucas is a pathologist who practices medicine at Lucas Pathology in Greenwood. Her husband, general surgeon John Fair Lucas III, says that she has no association with Life Spine.
“My wife is Marsha Lucas. She is a pathologist and has never done surgery, never made a surgical referral and never accepted a kickback from anyone,” he wrote. Dr. Fair requested a retraction from HPNM or a copy of the documents upon which its article was based. Once he received the federal complaint, Fair contacted Life Spine as well as the attorney who filed the case in New York.
Lucas has forwarded a statement from the corporate counsel of Life Spine confirming that Dr. Marsha Lucas has no association with the company.
“I can confirm that Dr. Marsh Lucas was never a consultant for Life Spine, Inc., and never provided any surgical feedback on our products,” corporate counsel Heather Glaser wrote. “As such, Dr. Marsha Lucas never received a payment from Life Spine.
“Again, I apologize that your wife was wrongly included in these allegations. If anything else is needed to aid you in seeking a correction, please let us know.”
John Lucas told HPNM he spoke with attorney Christopher Ayers, who filed the case, and that Ayers said Marsha Lucas’ name will not appear in any future filings. Lucas stated that Ayers also said he will try to locate and forward the source document that was used to include Marsha Lucas’ name in Exhibit A, which lists physician-consultants associated with Life Spine.
Marsha Lucas received the doctor of medicine degree from Duke University in 1984 and served a residency at Duke University Medical Center. Her husband, John Fair Lucas III, is a fourth-generation physician who grew up in Greenwood. He received the doctor of medicine degree from Duke University in 1988 and served his residency at Duke’s Medical Center. He practices medicine at the Lucas Surgical Group, as did his father, John Fair Lucas Jr.
Four Mississippi physicians were named as consultants in Exhibit A of the federal complaint against Life Spine, Inc., a medical devices company charged in a major kickback case in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Hattiesburg neurosurgeon David Lee; former Hattiesburg and Jackson neurosurgeon Michael Molleston, now deceased; and Louis Rosa of Starkville also were listed in Exhibit A. None of the doctors mentioned have been charged with any crimes at this time. Lee is an employee of Southern Bone and Joint and on staff at both Forrest General Hospital and Merit Hospital; he operates at all three facilities.
Government attorneys charge Life Spine with offering money and investment opportunities to physicians across the United States for using the company’s devices during certain spine surgeries and procedures. Oral arguments for the case are scheduled for 4 p.m. February 7, 2020. (Click here to read HPNM’s article.)