FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – An experienced spinal trauma surgeon says senior officials at Inova Health Care Services defamed him and got him fired to stop his reports of “repeated medical negligence as well as massive Medicare & Medicaid fraud.” Dr. Adel Kebaish claims he uncovered the problems at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.
In his complaint in Fairfax County Court, Dr. Kebaish claims four trauma physicians provided substandard medical care at taxpayer expense, and that senior administrators blinded by the financial gain ignored his concerns for fear of uncovering corruption throughout the Inova health care network of hospitals.
Kebaish says he saw the other trauma surgeons performing unnecessary surgeries for profit, and grossly overcharging for surgeries that were thousands of dollars cheaper at other hospitals.
He claims that Inova administrators Rueven Pasternak M.D., Patrick Christiansen Ph.D., and Mark Theiss M.D. conspired with trauma Drs. Robert Hymes, Cary Schwartzbach, Jeffrey Schulman and Alireza Malekzadeh to get him fired so they could maintain their practice of gouging vulnerable patients for substandard and unnecessary care.
Kebaish claims that while he worked almost twice as much for half the money as the other trauma doctors, Inova was looking for a way to push him out. He claims the doctors would steal his patient charts and X-rays, and “shop the X-rays to other surgeons to try to find someone who would find fault or differ in Dr. Kebaish’s handling of the patient.”
“Dr. Kebaish was raising concerns of their increasing surgical complications and alleged medical billing fraud, and because his fees and related costs for his procedures were not as expensive as theirs, thus threatening their jobs and financial security,” he says in his 73-page complaint.
Kebaish claims that one patient “was quoted $6,800 for a surgery that was to be performed at Inova, even though the exact same surgery cost approximately $980 at other hospitals.”
Inova’s network of hospitals provide medical care to more than 1 million people a year across Northern Virginia, and calls itself a nonprofit health-care system, according to the complaint.
Kebaish claims that ultimately the defendants’ false accusations did him in, and he was fired on his birthday. He says that one of his defenders was fired on her birthday, too.
He seeks punitive damages for defamation, tortious interference, wrongful termination, unjust enrichment and conspiracy. He is represented by Elaine Bredehoft with Charlson Bredehoft Cohen & Brown, of Reston, Va.