Federal prosecutors launch investigation of prominent surgeon who double-booked operations
By Jonathan Saltzman GLOBE STAFF OCTOBER 05, 2017
Federal prosecutors are investigating the billing practices of one of the nation’s highest-paid surgeons after a Spotlight Team report detailed that Dr. David B. Samadi ran two surgeries simultaneously on hundreds of occasions — a routine that colleagues said many patients did not know about.
Samadi, the chief of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and a medical expert on Fox News, already is the focus of a state inquiry into how he handles his enormous caseload of prostate surgeries. Current and former Lenox Hill medical personnel say he typically relied on unsupervised residents who were still learning how to do surgery.
Now, the US attorney’s office in Manhattan is looking at Samadi, too. Federal law prohibits surgeons at teaching hospitals from billing Medicare for two simultaneous operations unless the doctor was present for all “critical parts.”
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Reuben Guttman, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who has represented clients in federal cases alleging health-care fraud, said it was extraordinary for a prosecutor to disclose an open investigation.
The e-mail to the Globe, he said, was a “clear signal that the matter of concurrent surgeries is extremely material to the payment of Medicare and Medicaid funds.”
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