New York state regulators are reportedly investigating a high-profile Manhattan urologist amid allegations that younger surgeons largely performed procedures that were scheduled at the same time as his other surgeries.
A Boston Globe investigation found that more than 1,500 surgeries purportedly performed by Dr. David Samadi overlapped with other cases between mid-2013 and mid-2016 — about 70 percent of his cases during that span -- and that 400 procedures completely overlapped.
Samadi specializes in robot-assisted operations, and many of the robot-assisted cases coincided with non-robotic procedures. Although Samadi's website assures patients that he performs all surgeries, several medical professionals told state regulators and the paper that surgery residents did the "vast majority" of the non-robotic surgeries.
Some of Samadi’s residents, meanwhile, reportedly complained that Samadi doesn't teach them how to perform robot-assisted surgeries.
Simultaneous operations conducted in different rooms are restricted under Medicare rules, although teaching surgeons can bill for two operations provided that they are present for "critical" portions.
Officials from Lenox Hill Hospital, where Samadi is chairman of urology, told the Globe that Samadi uses two operating rooms at once and that patients are informed that residents could participate in their surgeries.
The Globe first detailed controversies regarding simultaneous surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2015. That investigation helped spark a new standard for surgeons, issued last year, requiring them to inform their patients if they plan to conduct multiple operations at the same time.
Overlapping procedures, the Globe noted, allows surgeons to perform more operations and receive more compensation. Samadi, who regularly appears on Fox News as a medical expert, reportedly made $6.7 million in 2015 — which would make him one of the nation’s highest-paid surgeons — and the Globe noted his “immense patient volume.”
"I am proud of and stand by my record of success and my reputation for excellence," Samadi responded in a statement to the paper. "I assure all my patients that I am there when my skills are promised and required. Every patient gets that same level of care by me and my team.”