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June 28, 2024
Health Law Weekly

Medical Centers, Physicians Group Agree to $15 Million Settlement of Concurrent Surgeries Allegations

  • June 28, 2024

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and Surgical Associates of Texas P.A. jointly agreed to pay $15 million to resolve claims they billed for concurrent heart surgeries in violation of Medicare teaching physician and informed consent regulations, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani announced June 24.

The case stemmed from whistleblower allegations that three heart surgeons who performed surgeries at St. Luke’s engaged in a regular practice of running two operating rooms at once and delegating key aspects of extremely complicated and risky heart surgeries to unqualified medical residents.

Medicare regulations dictate when teaching physicians can leave the operating room, and the three surgeons allegedly violated these rules in various respects.

The $15 million recovery is the largest settlement to date involving concurrent surgeries, a press release noted. A settlement resolves allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.