West Chester Hospital, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its parent company, UC Health, have paid over $4 million to settle allegations of gross negligence regarding one of their surgeons, who was performing medically unnecessary spinal surgeries in order to defraud Medicare and Medicaid for financial gain.
If you or someone you love is the victim of health care fraud or any other form of medical malpractice, contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today.
Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, a surgeon previously on staff at West Chester Hospital, was arrested in July 2013 and charged with health care fraud for performing the unwarranted surgeries on a multitude of patients between 2009 and 2013. After Durranis arraignment hearing, he fled the United States to an unknown location where he remains a fugitive-at-large.
Durranis health care fraud was brought to light by several of his former patients when they filed a lawsuit against Durrani and West Chester Hospital under the provisions of the False Claims Actan act that allows private citizens to file lawsuits for fraudulent claims on behalf of the United States government. The former patients who filed the lawsuit received an estimated $800, 000 from the governments share of the $4.1 million settlement.
Because Medicaid is funded jointly by both state and federal governments, the state of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky were also eligible to receive compensation for their Medicaid programs, since Durrani filed all of his false Medicaid claims in Ohio and Kentucky. Approximately $72,000 of the settlement went to Ohio and Kentucky Medicaid programs for compensation.
In May 2009, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services created the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) to help combat health care fraud. Part of this effort resulted in the False Claims Act, which has helped recovered over $25.2 billion through False Claims Act cases.
Its important to note the $4.1million settlement paid by West Chester Hospital was to resolve allegations that the hospital knew of Durranis unnecessary surgeries and health care fraud; however, West Chester Hospitals liability has not been determined.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our personal injury attorneys have all the resources needed to defend our clients rights.