Medical Malpractice

Spine surgery malpractice: What’s happening now in Washington?

By August 31, 2021No Comments

Spokane Washington spine surgeon, Dr. Jason Dreyer, D.O. is in the news for performing unnecessary spine surgeries for personal financial gain.  

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Dr. Dreyer and his employer, MultiCare. The Gilbert Law Firm is currently representing several patients who have been the victim of Dr. Dreyer’s negligence. 

If you discover your doctor or care facility has betrayed you for personal monetary gain, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys with Gilbert Law Firm will take time to listen to your story, provide answers to your questions, and give you advice as to available options or solutions in respect to medical care, and the availability of legal remedies. 

Read on to learn more about Dr. Dreyer case, and what drives these malpractice claims.

Medical Malpractice and Spine Surgery

Before getting into the heart of the issue in respect to the plague of unnecessary spine surgeries, The Gilbert Law Firm wishes to express its sincere support for the orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons who gown up, and scrub in, every day to save lives and make lives better around the world.  

These remarkably gifted men and women make a difference in our society on a daily basis. We appreciate and respect their commitment and the work they do.  

Unfortunately, as with all professions, there are some spine surgeons out there who are more interested in personal gain than patient care. Whether it be for financial gain or motivation for personal / professional recognition, there is a small percentage of spine surgeons who put their own interest ahead of patient interests.  

When this happens in the spine surgery specialty, the outcomes can permanently alter, or even end the lives of patients. The Gilbert Law Firm takes exception to those rogue physicians and profit-hungry hospitals operating on a twisted principle of profits over patient care.

Investigations against Dr. Dreyer

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating Dr. Dreyer based upon a series of complaints from patients alleging he performed unnecessary surgeries, and billed for services he did not provide. The United States Attorney is also investigating Dr. Dreyer’s activities and billing practices.  

In addition to the government agency investigations, the Gilbert Law Firm is conducting its own independent investigation. In the process of that investigation, our firm has retained some of the finest spine surgeons, neuroradiologists, hospital administration experts, and medical ethics experts in the world to review our clients’ cases. 

Our commitment to thoroughly working up these cases and hiring the best of the best in respect to experts benefits not only our clients, but also preserves the integrity of the involved medical entities. Further, our firm’s reputation for being tenacious litigators with proven results in successfully litigating these medical malpractice cases is an additional benefit to the clients we represent.

The case against unnecessary spinal surgeries

Medical literature suggests spinal fusion surgery is no more effective for pain resulting from degenerative disk disease than exercise, education, and physical therapy. 

Despite this, rates of a variety of spinal surgeries have soared in recent years in the U.S.–even though numerous published studies have repeatedly shown that spine surgery is often unnecessarily expensive, ineffective and dangerous. 

Harvard University has published material supporting the contention that Fusing an unstable joint is supposed to prevent motion that can cause pain, but it’s a major operation that often fails to offer a lasting solution. As a result, fusion has become the poster child for expensive, risky, and unnecessary back surgery. Despite that, the number of fusions has risen sharply over the years. 

Here’s a look at some of the numbers:

  • Studies indicate there are 1.62 million instrumented spinal procedures performed annually;
  • A 2011 paper published in Surgical Neurology International found that over 17 % of all patients who were advised to go in for spinal surgery did not really need the procedure; 
  • A study conducted in 2018 found that 50%  of spinal surgeries were unnecessary.

 

As unfortunate as it is to say, financial incentives are an enormous temptation for physicians to recommend more expensive, riskier treatments for their patients. 70.8% of surgeons polled believed that physicians are more likely to perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them.  

 

And profit they do! 

 

A 2018 study in Washington state found that in a single year more than 600,000 patients underwent treatment they didn’t need — at an estimated cost of $282 million. Studies indicate patients spend in excess of $40 billion per year on spinal fusion surgery in the United States alone. 

The problem is, the surgery rarely produces the promised results.

The procedure, with a price tag averaging near $110,000.00, has a failure rate for some surgeries of up to 46%. 

Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous surgeons, and hospital administrators who will ignore risk and poor patient outcomes in lieu of increased profits.  In respect to spine surgery, putting profit before patient care is literally crippling a segment of our population.

Contact the Gilbert Law Firm today

The ongoing concern with Dr. Jason Dreyer, D.O. is a reminder that the perpetuation of unnecessary surgery remains a daunting reality.  If you believe you or someone you care about has been the victim of a situation involving a surgeon conducting a procedure that was not medically necessary, contact the experienced attorneys at Gilbert Law Firm

We will listen to your story and provide you with advice on how to improve your situation medically and judicially.

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