An ophthalmologist recently agreed to pay the federal government $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit against him concerning the False Claims Act.
The federal government alleges that Dr. John Arthur Kiely performed unnecessary surgeries on Medicare and Medicaid patients during a period of nearly seven years. Despite not having the medical need for the operations, the eye doctor recommended surgery to patients then billed the federal government.
In addition to the $1.4 million he will pay the government, Kiely agreed not to treat patients on government-funded health insurance for 20 years.
This type of lawsuit is becoming increasingly common and doesn't involve just eye surgeons. We've recently discussed how a greedy cardiologist performed unnecessary heart surgeries on Medicare patients, putting their lives at risk.
In addition to lawsuits brought by the Department of Justice, a doctor's former patients may individually file medical malpractice lawsuits for injury resulting from an unnecessary operation. These surgical malpractice suits allow the victims to recover compensation for any undue harm, while also holding the physician accountable for his or her abhorrent conduct.
McKeen & Associates, P.C., is a nationally-prominent law firm in the area of medical malpractice and patients' rights.
Source: Justice.gov, "Ophthalmologist Agrees To Pay $1.4 Million And To 20 Year Voluntary Exclusion From Federal Programs To Settle Claims That He Performed Medically Unnecessary Laser Procedures," March 13, 2014