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U.S. Government Files Complaint Against Doctor and Medical Center

 

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Whistleblower Sheds Light on Doctor and Medical Center that Endangered Lives; U.S. Filed Complaint on July 27

The U.S. has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Najam Azmat and the Satilla Regional Medical Center for endangering the lives of patients, thanks to whistleblower Lana Rogers, a nurse who worked in Satilla’s Heart Center.  Dr. Azmat and Satilla provided false claims to federal health care programs and engaged in medical practice misconduct. Additionally, Satilla allowed Dr. Azmat to perform endovascular procedures that were not reasonable or necessary.   Dr. Azmat, a general surgeon, began performing these highly specialized procedures after he was hired in the spring of 2005, but such procedures require formal training.  Dr. Azmat lacked this training and his training to date did not make him qualified to undertake endovascular procedures.  Additionally, he had never performed endovascular procedures before.

Despite the fact that Satilla has a peer review process with formal oversight, Dr. Azmat was never evaluated.  The nursing staff voiced concerns to Satilla’s management that the doctor was unqualified and not competent enough to perform such procedures.  Yet the nursing staff’s complaints were ignored for at least five months before action was taken.  During this time numerous patients were seriously injured and one died when Dr. Azmat perforated her renal artery, leading the woman to go into hemorrhagic shock.

Edward Tarver, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, has stated that although such egregious actions have taken place, the U.S. government is working to protect its citizens from such events.  He said that “‘The filing of this complaint is but one example of the willingness of the Department of Justice to take action to protect the health and safety of the American people.  The United States Attorney’s Office will take the necessary legal actions to comply with our vigorous enforcement responsibilities under the False Claims Act.’”

This lawsuit is entitled United States ex rel. Lana Rogers v. Najam Azmat, M.D. and Satilla Health Services Inc., dba Satilla Regional Medical Center.

Sources:
PR Newswire. “U.S. Files Suit Against Georgia Medical Center and Physician; Allegedly Submitted Claims for Worthless Services to Federal Health Care Programs.” 27 July 2010. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-files-suit-against-georgia-medical-center-and-physician-allegedly-submitted-claims-for-worthless-services-to-federal-health-care-programs-99339694.html.

 
 
 

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