Spine surgeon's lawsuit against ASC heads for arbitration


A whistleblower lawsuit from Hooman Melamed, MD, alleging Hoag Orthopedic Institute Surgery Center in Marina del Rey, Calif. compromised patient care will go to arbitration.

Irvine, Calif.-based HOI called the lawsuit "frivolous" and "without merit," in a statement sent to Becker's.  

Dr. Melamed's lawsuit alleges that HOI, which is independent from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, hired less experienced surgical staff who could be paid lower wages and scheduled complex surgeries in the late afternoon and early evening which "set the stage for mistakes due to staff exhaustion," according to a news release. 

The lawsuit alleges multiple incidents, including an increase in revision surgeries due to postoperative complications, inexperienced nurses making multiple mistakes and lack of presurgery review.

A spokesperson for the surgery center said HOI plans to defend the allegations, according to a statement shared with Becker's Aug. 29:

"The allegations made against Hoag Orthopedic Institute Surgery Center in this frivolous lawsuit … are intentionally derogatory and without merit, and we will vigorously defend against each one of them with a large body of data and independent reporting showcasing our top-tier cinicians, high-quality care and industry-leading outcomes, we remain optimistic that the arbitrator will conclude the same."

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