Experts: UPMC's reputation is safe despite federal false billing allegations

triblive.com
3 min read
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UPMC likely will not be significantly impacted by news this week that the U.S. Attorney's office is suing the health system and its head of cardiothoracic surgery, according to experts in health care marketing. On Thursday, the federal government filed a civil action against Dr. James Luketich and UPMC, alleging
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UPMC likely will not be significantly impacted by news this week that the U.S. Attorney's office is suing the health system and its head of cardiothoracic surgery, according to experts in health care marketing.

On Thursday, the federal government filed a civil action against Dr. James Luketich and UPMC, alleging that his practice of scheduling multiple concurrent surgeries simultaneously violated Medicare billing laws and patient standards of care.

An attorney for Luketich vehemently denied the allegations, as did UPMC, which had previously featured the long-time surgeon in ads promoting medical advancements.

Although the civil complaint referenced one of those advertisements that had been posted to YouTube, by Friday morning, that link said the video was unavailable and is private.

A spokesman for UPMC did not respond to questions about the removal of the video.

Roberta Clarke, who teaches health care marketing at Brandeis University and taught the first such course in the country at Boston University, said Massachusetts General Hospital faced similar allegations several years ago.

There, an orthopedic surgeon filed a lawsuit against others alleging concurrent surgeries that defrauded Medicare.

The whistleblower, Dennis Burke, was fired, but ultimately settled his lawsuit with the hospital system for $13 million.

Despite the…
Paula Reed Ward
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