I thought the story below was worthwhile to share for three reasons: First, I was shocked to learn how poorly Halifax Hospital is apparently being run. One would think that things would have to be pretty bad for the State of Florida to threaten to immediately stop Halifax from accepting Medicare and Medicaid. Two, I am very surprised that a surgeon would ever admit that he operated on the wrong leg because he “wasn’t paying attention.” Surgeons operate on wrong or mistaken body parts all the time, but it is very rare in my experience that the surgeon would ever admit fault so freely. While I admire this doctor’s willingness to tell the truth, it would not surprise me if, coincidentally, the Statute of Limitations had run on any potential medical malpractice claim the surgeon decided to become so forthright. Three, this story is important because it apparently arises out of information revealed in a lawsuit already pending against Halifax. Halifax has been sued by more than one former employee in whistleblower, also called qui tam, lawsuits. Under federal law, any whistleblower who comes forward with evidence that a person or entity has defrauded the United States government is entitled to recover a percentage of the money ultimately recovered on behalf of the government. The pending Halifax lawsuit alleges that Halifax has defrauded the Medicare and Medicaid programs out of millions of dollars. There is a similar whistleblower lawsuit also pending against Florida Hospital here in Orlando. If you have any questions regarding a surgery where the surgeon operated on the wrong body part, or if you have information that an organization fraudulently billed and collected money from the federal government, call Winter Park attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...Read More »
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