A 42-year-old neurosurgeon in Oregon who faces more than 30 medical malpractice lawsuits against him has agreed to surrender his Oregon medical license, which the Oregon Medical Board (“Board”) approved during its meeting on October 9, 2012. The Board had issued a Complaint and Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action against the neurosurgeon on June 22, 2102, alleging violations of the Oregon Medical Practice Act regarding unprofessional or dishonorable conduct; obtaining any fee by fraud or misrepresentation; and gross or repeated negligence in the practice of medicine. The Board’s Stipulated Order is effective as of October 11, 2012. The agreement effectively ends a disciplinary proceeding against the neurosurgeon in Oregon and precludes him from practicing medicine anywhere in the United States.
The neurosurgeon had be subject to disciplinary actions in Oregon before, including a 2006 matter in which he was charged with inappropriate and excessive medical billing, performing surgeries “without adequate medical justification,” billing for procedures that he did not perform, and acting with gross or repeated negligence. He was able to resolve the 2006 matter by agreeing to re-training and auditing of his bills.
In January, 2011, the neurosurgeon was the subject of another investigation by the Board involving allegations that he billed for surgeries that he did not perform and that he falsified surgical records in support of his efforts. Two months later, the neurosurgeon was reported as being the subject of an investigation into Medicare billing that alleged that he was performing multiple spinal-fusion surgeries at a rate almost 10 times higher than the national average (he was reported as having the highest rate of multiple spinal-fusion surgeries of the 3,407 surgeons who had performed such surgeries on 20 or more Medicare patients during 2008 and 2009). He was also reportedly the subject of an FBI investigation that questioned his patients. Feeling the pressure from the Board’s investigation, the neurosurgeon voluntarily agreed in April, 2011 to stop performing surgical procedures unless he first obtained prior approval from a neurosurgical mentor appointed by the Board. Source
The neurosurgeon had settled at least three medical malpractice claims against him, including one in 2009 that was settled for $500,000 for allegedly operating at the wrong level of the spine and one in 2007 that was settled for $275,000 for alleged improper back surgery that left his patient with leg weakness and leg pain.
It was also reported that the company that supplied the neurosurgeon with the implants that he used in procedures often entered into partnerships with the surgeons and paid “dividends” to surgeons who used their products based on the number of implants they used (the company denied that it had entered into a partnership with the Oregon neurosurgeon).
As of October 15, 2012, the neurosurgeon’s website is still up and states that he has been “practicing in Portland, Oregon since 2002.” The neurosurgeon states on his website, “We are committed to performing invasive surgery only when necessary, with procedures determined on an individual basis after appropriate diagnostic testing and thorough examination.”
If you or someone you know have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in Oregon or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney to learn about your legal rights and responsibilities.
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