, (PressExposure) September 25, 2007 -- In a whistle-blowing case in Miami, Florida, certified neurosurgeon, Linda I. Bland and the hospital administration where she was employed agreed to reimburse the government with the outstanding amount of $1.275 million for their illicit medical performances on several Medicare patients. Bland and her staff performed uncalled for spinal surgeries several times during the years 2000 to 2002 at the Sebastian River Medical Center located on the Treasure Coast between Fort Pearce and Melbourne. The whistle blower of the highly remarkable case was Thomas Gayeski who works as an anesthesiologist of the same hospital. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami has revealed, last Thursday, that the Federal Government has indeed received a the $1.275 million worth of settlement by Bland and the hospital.
Whistleblower Thomas Gayeski filed a case against Linda I. Bland for performing over 150 unwarranted surgeries to spinal cord injury patients under the Medicare program. Gayeski also ascertained the name and location of the hospital where Bland performed her unnecessary acts and the period when these happened.
The whistle-blowing case was considered as a very unusual feat by a medical practitioner accusing his colleague of her misdeed, stated by Kenneth W. Goodman, the bioethics program director of University of Miami. Goodman further affirmed that there was actually some reluctance in identifying these threats.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said in his prepared report that these unnecessary surgeries are not fraudulent, but unconsciously exposed patients to needless medical risks.
Acosta added that they would assert all their efforts to indict those health care professionals who would be caught ordering and performing unnecessary medical routines that jeopardized the health and safety of the public and steal from the government's insufficient Medicare system funds.
On the other hand, Gayeski said that he has previously filed a complaint to the hospital board before bringing the case in court. However, the hospital administrators have disregarded his plea. "Bland's performance of unwarranted spinal surgeries evolved into a routine custom, pattern and practice," he declared.
The hospital's lawyer, Gabriel Imperato, contradicted this statement by affirming that the hospital administration has no prior knowledge of these unnecessary surgeries. If such complaint, regarding to Bland's actions, was made, Gayeski failed to include the unnecessary procedures undergone by the accused. He even took part frequently on these surgeries and he has only decided to file charges upon his separation from the hospital, added by Imperato.
Nevertheless, the case has lead to a fair settlement wherein the Bland and the said hospital paid $350,000 and $925,000 respectively. This does not include Gayeski's professional fees that cost $40,000, which should be paid by the wrongdoers. In addition, Gayeski has gained $230,000 in financial rewards for revealing such illegal acts.