Florida ASC accused of performing thousands of unlicensed surgeries over 11 years

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The United States has accused a Florida surgeon of performing procedures beyond the scope of his surgery center's license and submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare for payment, according to a lawsuit filed Nov. 21 in the Southern District of Florida.

Five notes:

1. According to the complaint, Key Biscayne (Fla.) Surgery Center was licensed to have one operating room, zero minor procedure rooms and two recovery beds, which would limit the number of surgeries that could be performed at one time to one.

2. However, Roger Khouri, MD, a plastic surgeon and sole owner of the ASC, allegedly ran two full ORs, three minor procedure rooms and two recovery rooms, leading to a possible total of five procedures being performed at the same time, according to the complaint.

3. Since 2010, when Key Biscayne Surgery Center was issued a license, prosecutors allege that Dr. Khouri knowingly performed thousands of unlicensed procedures for which he received millions of dollars in reimbursement from the U.S. government. The surgeon is also accused of further violating the False Claims Act by submitting falsified records to CMS indicating the procedures were licensed.

4. Prosecutors asked the court to enter judgment against Dr. Khouri in an amount equal to three times the amount of damages suffered by the U.S. because of the surgeon's alleged actions, as well as a penalty of between $5,500 and $11,000 for each false claim or certification submitted.

5. The complaint is requesting a jury trial.

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