The Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida is a leading facility known for providing minimally invasive laser spine surgery on patients who are suffering from many different types of injuries and pains. They’re also a company, and companies love their money; especially when there’s competition.
Bonati Institute is a rival spine-surgery center located in Hudson, Florida—barely an hour from Tampa. Many people consider Dr. Boanti to be the pioneer of laser spine surgery and he claims to have employed the founders of the Laser Spine Institute.
A lawsuit has been filed in the Hillsborough County Circuit Court by Dr. Bonati against Laser Spine Institute for defamation as well as illegally interfering with his business.
Sources claim that Laser Spine Institute sent in “mystery shoppers” to examine Bonati’s techniques and the “backbone” of their operations. Some of these shoppers would instead pose as a real patient’s significant other; physically attending the surgery and watching it take place. This gave Laser Spine some good leverage in the competitive market.
Alleged Illegal Methods of Patient Recruitment
With information gathered, LSI spread it through expensive ads and commercial spots on big television stations like CNN. They were poking fun at the competition (Bonati) and conspicuously bashing them. They were also stretching the truth; not everything they were saying was factual. It very much resembled a presidential election race; half-truths intended to influence favor.
While this increased their business and reputation, it was also a tainted way for them to gain favorable support; and it was the first of many tainted ways.
Laser Spine Institute began offering their patients free airfare, hotel stay, and other cost-of-living expenses. Emails obtained through discovery demonstrate the practice of incentivizing potential patients with the aforementioned services.
Medicare Prohibits Bribes
Medicare can pay for many forms of medical treatment, but laser spine surgery is one that is definitely covered; here’s the problem:
Laser Spine Institute’s offer to pay for the hotel and airfare in order to close a deal and then subsequently ask the patient to list the hotel room in a companion’s name, may not only prove that an inducement was made but also that LSI was aware of this prohibited practice.
Inducements are against Medicare’s rules because if they weren’t, anyone with Medicare would be able to joyfully skip into the Laser Spine Institute and walk out without paying a single bill—or at least a sizably smaller one.
Many customers were frightened by the idea of receiving medical treatment at the facility due to its questionable internet reviews by past patients. Some would warn to beware of malpractice; others would mention the overpriced procedures they offer.
One patient was genuinely convinced by LSI’s patient coordinate when, in 2011, she was told that the Laser Spine Institute had never been pursued in court for medical malpractice. However, in 2010, LSI had paid out a whopping $650,000 to a 61-year-old woman who claimed that the laser spine surgery that she underwent caused permanent nerve damage.
The lies that they have told and will continue to tell are bringing them patients through the door. These patients sometimes have no choice in receiving the surgery. Many patients require it to continue a tolerable lifestyle. That’s why they agree to the outrageous medical bills that arise from these procedures. People is life altering pain are desperate and desperate people will try anything to feel better.
CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA BACK AND NECK INJURY ATTORNEYS
You or a loved one may have suffered from back injuries that were caused by the negligence of another. It’s possible that you were in an automobile or slip-and-fall accident and you’ve gone to the Laser Spine Institute for treatment; maybe their “solution” caused even greater pain and suffering. Are they relentlessly refusing to admit their fault? Is the stress of feeling powerless polluting your clear mind?
Contact the experienced back injury and medical malpractice attorneys of Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. We’re located in Clearwater, Florida but we will represent the entire state of Florida. No patient should be illegally bribed into a treatment and then suffer from serious injuries as a result. Don’t wait another day; time is of the essence. Let us help you secure the compensation that you deserve.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
Practice Area: Back and Neck Injuries