Prominent surgeon under investigation for billing for concurrent surgeries

A Surgeon Sugery
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan is looking at how David B. Samadi, M.D., the chief of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, billed for surgeries run simultaneously.

Federal prosecutors are investigating the billing practices of a world-renowned surgeon who performed concurrent surgeries. 

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan is looking at how David B. Samadi, M.D., the chief of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, billed for the surgeries run simultaneously, according to The Boston Globe.

Federal law prohibits surgeons at teaching hospitals from billing Medicare for two simultaneous operations unless the doctor was present for all “critical parts” of the procedure.

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The Boston newspaper, which helped bring the issue of concurrent surgeries into the public eye last year, said it learned of the federal investigation when it received an email from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Jean Hu seeking information after it wrote an article about Samadi. Hu wrote that her office has an open investigation into Samadi’s billing practices.

Samadi, who is one of the country’s highest-paid surgeons and a specialist in robotic prostate surgery, has come under scrutiny for performing concurrent surgeries. New York state regulators are investigating the doctor for allegedly improperly double-booking surgeries.

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The Globe’s spotlight team first reported on the controversy over the practice of concurrent surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and other U.S. teaching hospitals. A Globe story focused on Samadi, who ran two surgeries simultaneously on hundreds of occasions without the knowledge of many patients.

Last year, a U.S. Senate committee investigated the practice of concurrent surgeries, which is common practice at 47 hospitals across the country, and released a report in December urging hospitals to prohibit the practice of allowing one surgeon to manage two operations where critical parts occur at the same time.

New guidelines were released last April by the American College of Surgeons that stress informed consent so a patient knows that a surgeon will be performing concurrent surgeries.