Senate Releases Report and Recommendations on the Practice of Concurrent Surgeries at Teaching Hospitals

Boston Globe Spotlight Team and Lubin & Meyer lawsuits have been at the center of widening awareness of this patient safety issue 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued a committee staff report detailing the practices of concurrent and overlapping surgeries where lead doctors at teaching hospitals perform multiple surgeries at the same time.

Concurrent and Overlapping Surgeries: Additional Measures Warranted,” outlines a number of shortfalls at the federal level in monitoring and auditing teaching hospitals to ensure they are in compliance with Medicare billing restrictions, while also making a number of recommendations for hospitals and regulators to ensure patient safety and improve transparency.

“This report provides a crucial look at the little-known practices of concurrent and overlapping surgeries and lays the groundwork for improving the system moving forward,” Hatch and Wyden said, “While we are encouraged by the steps taken by the American College of Surgeons and a number of hospitals to address the concerns with concurrent surgeries, we remain concerned that the nearly 5,000 hospitals in America may lack thorough and complete policies covering these procedures and patient consent. By working with hospitals and surgeons in a collaborative manner, it is our hope we can continue to increase transparency and patient safety.
Largely unknown, the practice of double-booking surgeries was made public through an investigative report by the Boston Globe's Spotlight Team involving the concurrent surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital and two patients represented by Lubin & Meyer who filed lawsuits claiming injuries due to the practice of one surgeon with overlapping surgeries.

See our previous Patient Safety Blog reporting on this issue:

Concurrent Surgeries at MGH Spur Federal Investigations

Concurrent Surgeries in the Spotlight: Is it Safe To Run Two Operations at Once?

Please feel free to contact us regarding information or questions related to double-booking or overlapping surgery.

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