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Whistleblower Lawsuit Involving Hoag & Renowned Spine Surgeon Heads To Arbitration

(Specialist Alleges Hoag Put Profits Over Patient Safety at Marina Del Rey “Surgery Mill”)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A whistleblower lawsuit filed by an internationally renowned orthopedic spine surgeon alleging that hospital giant Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian put profits over patient care at one of its surgery centers is headed for arbitration. Hooman Melamed, M.D. claims that Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI) (formerly Diagnostic and Interventional Surgical Center) in Marina Del Rey, California compromised patient care by increasing its volume of aggressive, unnecessary spine surgeries that resulted in an uptick in revision procedures to correct the problems. 

In addition, he alleges that HOI instituted several cost-cutting measures including hiring less experienced (and lower wage) surgical staff and routinely scheduling aggressive, complex surgeries in the late afternoon and early evening hours — a practice Melamed says set the stage for mistakes due to staff exhaustion. Also, HOI allowed one practitioner to perform two surgeries simultaneously in 2 separate operating rooms, which led to a serious potential life-threatening injury.

Melamed alleges to have witnessed numerous instances in which the practice was being transformed into a “surgery mill”:

  • To increase volume, one of his colleagues performed surgery on 2 patients simultaneously, which led to a serious potential life-threatening injury
  • One surgeon regularly performed unnecessary surgeries and/or more aggressive procedures than were medically necessary
  • A growing number of revision surgeries had to be performed due to an uptick in post-op complications
  • Inexperienced nurses made multiple mistakes, putting patients needlessly at risk of complications
  • Lack of pre-surgery review and a rush to get patients under the knife
  • Lack of appropriate peer review for catastrophic patient complications

Melamed has become an internationally renowned specialist due to his ability to perform complex cases. Inducted into the “Leading Physicians in the World, National Castle Connolly “Top Doctor” and Southern California “Super Doctors,” he lectures worldwide before colleagues in his field, has published numerous research papers in prestigious medical journals and shared his expertise as a guest on national and local media. His nonprofit, “Back To You” has helped treat those who do not have the resources nor medical insurance to treat their spine conditions.

Since his ouster from Hoag, Melamed has set up his own practice at 9777 Wilshire Blvd, #808, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. For more information, visit or call 424-21-SPINE (424-217-7463).

SOURCE FGI Public Relations

Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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