Justice Department Joins False Claims Lawsuit Against Georgia's Satilla Regional Medical Center and Physician

The U.S. Justice Department has joined a False Claims Act lawsuit against Satilla Regional Medical Center, in Waycross, Ga., and Najam Azmat, MD, that alleges they submitted claims for substandard and unnecessary services to Medicare and Medicaid, according to a Justice Department news release.

The lawsuit alleges that one person died and others were seriously injured because of medical procedures performed by Dr. Azmat in Satilla's Heart Center that he was not qualified or credentialed to perform, and that the defendants filed claims for these procedures in violation of the federal False Claims Act.

Among other things, the complaint alleges Dr. Azmat perforated a patient's renal artery and caused her to bleed to death, not recognizing that he had perforated the artery. According to the complaint, nurses in the heart center repeatedly raised concerns about Dr. Azmat's performance with hospital management, but management continued to let him perform complex procedures and bill Medicare and Medicaid for them. Lana Rogers, a nurse who used to work in the heart center, filed the original lawsuit.

Read the Justice Department's news release on the lawsuit against Satilla Regional Medical Center.

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