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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spyros Panos faces a federal felony and hundreds of malpractice charges

The Hippocratic Oath is violated in the event of medical malpractice
If found guilty, Spryos Panos could be liable for up to $5 million
By Jeffrey R. Lamb

One of the most glaring instances of alleged medical malpractice and insurance fraud was recently brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. Spyros Panos, who formerly practiced as an orthopedic surgeon, was brought before the court under allegations that he used a number of deceitful practices to defraud insurance companies for several million dollars.

A number of insurers defrauded

In the indictment against Panos, claims were made that while he practiced medicine, the surgeon made deceitful claims for procedures he did not perform. These claims were made to the New York State Insurance Fund, Medicare, and a long list of private insurers.

It seems that Panos may have made claims that totaled as much as 35 million dollars. Of that 35 million dollars, Panos received 13 million dollars in compensation for services that insurance companies were led to believe he performed.

Government expects money to be repaid

If he is found guilty, the federal government expects Panos to repay as much as 5 million dollars of the funds that they believe were paid to him in error. The former surgeon has pleaded not guilty on all charges and has been released on on hundred thousand dollars bail, which also included requirements for Panos to undergo psychological monitoring.

Panos faces depression and expresses sadness in court

Panos seemed very subdued and serious while in court and seemed to shy away from the large media presence that was in attendance. He has admitted to dealing with depression and other mental health issues and is currently taking medication for depression. It is unclear whether prosecutors believe that Panos’s alleged crimes may be related to mental health issues.

Malpractice suits from a number of patients

In total, Panos faces what amount to as many as 260 civil cases against him, which have been filed by patients who received what they believed to be care from him. These cases, which largely allege malpractice, accuse the former surgeon of deceiving people who were under his care by lying about what he had done to them, and perhaps most unsettling, placing them under anesthesia and then pretending to perform actual procedures, for which patients and their insurance companies were then billed.

Medical malpractice: A serious accusation

Medical malpractice can take a number of forms, but basically is said to have occurred when a doctor fails to treat a patient to the best of their ability. As soon as a doctor graduated medical school, they take what is known as the Hippocratic Oath, which states that they will always use their medical training to help people.

When a doctor is negligent, or, in the case of Panos’s alleged actions, puts their patients in harm’s way intentionally and for malicious purposes, they have failed to practice in accordance with the behavior that is expected of all practicing physicians. Medical malpractice can be very serious and may even lead to permanent health problems and even death. This is why the United States government allows for patients to take action against doctors who have committed malpractice.

About the author: Jeffrey R. Lamb, an Associate Lawyer at Martin Stanley Law, is a devoted husband to his wife and in his off time donates his time speaking around the country on various topics relating to Law and Medical Malpractice claims.