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Doctor Accused of Letting His Physician’s Assistant Perform Surgeries

Hello, dear readers!

It’s Monday, so it’s time for a lien check!  Check your lien files for Munir Uwaydah, M.D., the Southern California surgeon accused of having his physician’s assistant perform about 100 knee and shoulder surgeries on his own (while billing insurance companies for the services of a surgeon).

According to the LA times, prosecutors are alleging that 21 patients have claimed injuries as a result of Dr. Uwaydah’s clinic.

Assuming, for the sake of this most humble of blog posts, that everything alleged by the prosecutors is taken as true, then some or all of the surgeries billed to workers’ compensation insurers and employers should be rejected, no?

After all, an illegal surgery performed by an unlicensed and unqualified physician’s assistant is probably worth less than one performed by a licensed and qualified surgeon.  How much less? I would say, at least 100% less.

Lien claimants have the burden of proof in establishing that the services provided were actually performed and reimbursable.  If there is a conviction, how will Dr. Uwaydah or his clinics meet this burden?

A search for Munir Uwaydah on EAMS reflects about 4 pages of liens, one for $21,350.  Do you have one of these liens?  Or perhaps a claim out there that hasn’t been filed yet?

In any case, this is one to watch and is probably one worth fighting about.

Here’s another question to consider – if the permanent disability of the injured workers was increased due to these actions (again, assuming they are true as alleged), shouldn’t there be some third-party liability or subrogation?

I know, I know, dear readers, medical malpractice is not a valid ground for third-party reimbursement.  But this isn’t medical malpractice.  MM is when an otherwise licensed doctor doesn’t do a great job, to the point where other doctors are probably calling him or her out on it.

In this case, the damage was done not my a doctor who did not follow the proper standard of care, but by a physician’s assistant.  Aside from the fraud, there might be a criminal act here as the surgery would not be a battery based on the patient’s consent, and I doubt any of the patients said “that physician’s assistant looks pretty confident with that scalpel, let’s give him a try at cutting me up.”

Just things to  consider, dear readers.

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