Neurosurgeon wins $88.7k+ in retaliation case against NY hospital over concurrent surgeries: 5 things to know


In 2006, neurosurgeon James Holsapple, MD, raised concerns with his former hospital, University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., about a new practice in his department to double-book surgeries. He was allegedly pressured to resign, and then sued the hospital under New York's whistle-blower statute for lost wages.

New York Supreme Court Justice James P. Murphy sided with him in a bench trial, adding a new layer to the debate over concurrent surgeries, according to The Boston Globe.


Here are five things to know about the case:


1. After training at University Hospital, Dr. Holsapple joined its ranks and rose to the associate professor position. In 2006, the hospital recruited a complex spine specialist and gave him permission to oversee concurrent surgeries in adjoining operating rooms, a practice to which Dr. Holsapple objected and "raised immediate concerns."


2. Dr. Holsapple lodged several complaints against the practice and was stripped of appointments at the hospital such as quality assurance officer and residency coordinator, which cut his salary. Dr. Holsapple alleged the change was made due to his complaints about the double-booking policy.


3. In 2009, Dr. Holsapple left University Hospital to join Boston Medical Center, where he is now chief of neurosurgery. After leaving the institution, the New York State Department of Health investigated University Hospital and found the hospital violated state regulations associated with the concerns Dr. Holsapple raised.


4. The judge awarded Dr. Holsapple $88,277 in lost wages and his award could exceed $150,000 after adding in estimated interest.


5. Massachusetts General Hospital has come under fire over the past few years for their policy allowing concurrent surgeries and not informing patients. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee seeks to restrict the practice as well, and per a pending Board of Registration in Medicine rule, surgeons may be required to document each time they enter or exit the operating room in the future.


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