U.S. files suit against Univ of Pittsburgh Med Center and Dept Chair for performing as many as three complex surgeries at the same time

The U.S. Government has filed a lawsuit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and James Luketich, M.D. Chair of UPMC’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The complaint alleges that Dr. Luketich regularly performs as many as three, complex surgical procedures at the same time, fails to participate in all of the “key and critical” portions of his surgeries, and forces his patients to endure hours of medically unnecessary anesthesia time, as he moves between operating rooms and attends to other patients or matters. The Government says that these practices violate the statutes and regulations governing the defendants, including those that prohibit “teaching physicians” from performing and billing the United States for “concurrent surgeries.” The United States’ complaint alleges that Dr. Luketich’s practices violate the standard of care and the patients’ trust, and heighten the risk of serious complications.

The case is captioned United States of America ex rel. Jonathan D’Cunha, M.D. v. James Luketich. et al., No. 19-cv-495 (W.D. Pa.). .