Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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Federal investigation reveals hospital negligence

Oregon's hospitals are supposed to be a place of healing. But what if a hospital puts its bottom-line over its patients? In that case, hospital negligence is likely to occur.

One hospital is currently under a federal investigation after it has been accused of performing unnecessary surgery in order to bill Medicare and Medicaid. According to reports, the hospital performed tracheotomies -- a procedure which assists in breathing -- on patients without much reason or purpose. Furthermore, the hospital has been accused of sedating people so much that it appears as if they need the new and permanent breathing tube.

Each time the hospital performed one of these procedures, it was able to bill $160,000 to the patient's insurance. Investigators say that tracheotomies were the hospital's biggest money maker and were performed at a rate of three times more than its state's average.

Following an undercover investigation -- which included secret recordings -- several of the hospitals administrators and doctors were arrested and charged with offering kickbacks to other doctors who referred potential tracheotomy patients to the hospital.

Hospitals that fail to uphold a reasonable standard of care -- like one encouraging and performing unnecessary surgeries -- are financially responsible for any damage that occurs because of its negligence. Families whose loved ones were given a tracheotomy, or who died after a tracheotomy at this hospital should explore their legal rights to compensation.

A medical malpractice or wrongful death suit can help a family pay for the medical expenses or permanent disability that these unnecessary procedures caused. Families do not need to suffer because a hospital decided that making money was more important that proper patient care.

Source: Bloomberg, "Chicago Hospital Accused of Cutting Throats for $160,000," Charles R. Babcock, June 14, 2013

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