MassGen pays $14.6M to settle overlapping orthopedic surgeries suit


Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital on Feb. 18 agreed to pay $14.6 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged it violated Medicare and Medicaid regulations when surgeons left procedures to trainees because they were performing multiple cases, according to The Boston Globe.

Five details:

1. At least five orthopedic surgeons at MGH were accused of keeping patients under anesthesia longer than medically necessary because the surgeons were working in two operating rooms, according to the report.

2. Lisa Wollman, MD, a former anesthesiologist at MGH, said she repeatedly complained about the alleged concurrent surgeries and filed a whistleblower lawsuit when she left the hospital in 2015.

3. Dr. Wollman, who now practices at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, alleged that the surgeons at MGH defrauded the government by submitting bills for surgeries in which the surgeons were not in the operating room for critical portions of the procedure.

4. The lawsuit also argued that federal insurers were overbilled for anesthesia services because surgeons moving back and forth between operating rooms prolonged procedures. MGH did not admit liability in the settlement.

5. This is the third settlement since 2019 in which MGH has agreed to pay millions of dollars to resolve a claim stemming from concurrent surgeries, according to The Boston Globe. The three settlements total $32.7 million.

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