Malpractice suits alleging “improper bonuses” settled


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Incentives are a great way to motivate individuals and push them to reach new heights and get better at a given task. Rewarding people for their efforts is a common practice that usually yields a positive result but that was not the case in two recent medical malpractice lawsuits against UPMC [University of Pittsburgh Medical Center].

The two cases mirror allegations in a whistleblower case against UPMC at the beginning of the year. That federal case alleged that the Pittsburgh hospital had been putting profit and financial gain gains over patients with an “improper bonus” system. It stated that neurosurgeons were getting these bonuses based on number of procedures performed as well as being motivated to perform medically
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unnecessary procedures. Instead of taking alternative, cheaper treatment routes, it was alleged these doctors would choose the riskier, more expensive surgical options.

The first settled malpractice suit was against a neurosurgeon for back operations performed in July and November of 2010. Those suing claimed that the operation performed was not warranted based on the patient’s medical history, among other claims.

In the second of the two lawsuits, another neurosurgeon was also sued over a back operation — this one from December of 2008. The whistleblower case was cited, and emphasized the claim of improper financial inducements for doctors, and the patient petitioned the court for the doctor’s employment contract.

The two doctors are among 13 total neurosurgeons named in the federal whistleblower lawsuit. UPMC has since asked the court to dismiss the claim.

The allegations are troubling, especially against medical professionals that you are inclined to trust and take at their word. Still, these doctors act and think just like anyone else, meaning certain people, including doctors, can be tempted by the lure of financial gain and exercise poor judgment. Unfortunately, chosing profits over patient safety is inexcusable.

If you or a loved one feel your doctor or medical professional performed an operation or medical treatment on you that was medically unnecessary it is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and a lawyer knowledgeable in malpractice litigation, like the lawyers at Matzus Law, LLC in Pittsburgh, can investigate a potential claim and provide you with the answers you deserve.
Call 412-259-5303 today for a free initial consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

AUTHOR: Matt Salvato

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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