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February 25, 2022

Massachusetts General Settles Dispute Over Double-Booked Surgeries for $14.6 million

Massachusetts General Hospital will pay $14.6 million to settle a false claims act lawsuit alleging that five orthopedic surgeons were keeping patients under anesthesia longer than necessary because they were engaging in overlapping surgeries. This is the third time since 2019 the hospital has agreed to pay a settlement to resolve a claim stemming from this controversial double-booking practice.

The whistleblower, an anesthesiologist, alleged the hospital violated Medicare and Medicaid rules that require surgeons to be present for critical parts of operations and also failed to designate a backup surgeon for trainees who might need immediate help. Additionally, the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the US and Massachusetts governments, alleged that anesthesia services were overbilled because procedures were prolonged by surgeons moving back and forth between operating rooms.