According to the Palm Beach Post, State Farm Insurance Co. and the Palm Beach Lakes Surgery Center doctors Jeffrey Kugler, Jane Bistline and Jonathan Cutler, as well as two others who managed the practice, will be going head-to-head in a legal battle. At the heart of the lawsuit is a back procedure that is performed on car accident victims, known as a percutaneous discectomy. The procedure is minimally invasive and is meant to alleviate back pain.
The lawsuit, initiated by State Farm, claims that the doctors collaborated with a medical manufacturer and nearby law firms to inflate prices for medical procedures that were unnecessary. Apparently, this alleged scheme cost insurance companies over $13 million.
Lawyers for State Farm said that the surgery center doctors participated in fraudulent billing practices. While they didn’t name the local law firm, Steinger, Iscoe and Greene, as defendants in the lawsuit, this firm was mentioned in the suit. Supposedly, the firm represented at least 59 patients who had the controversial back procedure.
The doctors named in the lawsuit didn’t take the charges lightly. They fought back with a defamation suit, stating that the “insurance company’s allegations are part of a scheme to keep from paying claims.”
One of the surgery center’s attorneys, Anthony Vitale, claimed that there was nothing wrong with doctors and injury lawyers referring clients to one another...
It will be interesting to see how this legal saga plays out.