Doctors and other medical professionals are bound by oath to protect their patients and provide proper care. However, when a medical professional makes a mistake, the error can cause anything from a minor inconvenience to severe injury or death.
Medical malpractice is a sensitive issue in Ohio this month. A spine surgeon from the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies was charged in early August for perpetrating Medicare fraud. Atiq Durrani, MD, allegedly performed a number of unnecessary spine surgeries from 2010 to 2013, billing Medicare a hefty $11 million sum. Durrani, who has declared himself not guilty, disputed the prosecution’s claim that he caused patients “serious bodily injury.”
Several patients have accused Dr. Durrani of performing extraneous and wrong site operations, actions classified as improper treatment. Patient Stephanie Herrin-Threm claimed Durrani “fused [her] cervical spine” and “put in rods and screws.” The indictment states that Durrani would “tell a patient that there was risk of paralysis or the head would fall off if the patient was in a car accident because there was almost nothing attaching the head to the patient’s body.”
The 44-year-old doctor is fighting back against the prosecution, accusing attorney Eric Deters of using “very provocative racial language” against him. Durrani said he accepts only two or three patients out of 10, and doesn’t go out of his way to perform extra surgeries.
If convicted, Durrani could receive up to 25 years in prison for health care fraud and false statements in health care matters.