Dr. Ayman Daouk brings whistleblower suit against Orlando Health, claims mandatory self-referral violates federal laws


Ayman Daouk, MD, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Orlando (Fla.) Health, claiming he was fired for refusing to comply with the system's standards, which allegedly required him to only operate and make referrals within its network, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Dr. Daouk, an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon, claims the alleged self-referral requirements violates the federal Stark Laws and "patients' freedom of choice."

Charges were also filed against three Orlando Health subsidiaries: Physician Associates, Orlando Health Physician Group and Orlando Health Imaging Centers.

Dr. Daouk alleges he was fired by Orlando Health and Physician Associates for performing surgeries and referring patients for imaging at a "non-Orlando Health facility," according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The lawsuit claims Orlando Health encouraged patient referrals within the system after its acquisition of Physician Associates in 2012, but later made them mandatory.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to involve itself in the case.

A spokeswoman for Orlando Health told Becker's the system does not comment on pending litigation.

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

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