The Latest: Hospital: Doctor's claims are 'without merit'

AP News
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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 8:32 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on a whistleblower lawsuit filed against a New York hospital (all times local):

8:04 p.m.

Westchester Medical Center says claims in a whistleblower lawsuit are "without merit" alleging adolescent Medicaid psychiatric patients were routinely provoked into acting out, then restrained and drugged, extending their hospitalization and Medicaid payments.

Hospital spokesman Andrew LaGuardia says Dr. Alfred Robenzadeh, a psychiatry trainee, raised claims only after being disciplined for certain behavior. He says the allegations against other staff were reviewed and are "offensive."

LaGuardia said the claims have been thoroughly reviewed and called the allegations against the staff offensive and totally without merit.

In the federal suit filed Monday, Robenzadeh says supervisors at the hospital in Valhalla retaliated against him, including proposed termination, after he tried to address what he says was chronic patient abuse that increased the severity of diagnoses, extending hospital stays. He alleges the practice defrauded Medicaid.

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3:20 p.m.

A doctor who trained for two years at the psychiatric unit of a New York hospital says in a lawsuit that adolescent Medicaid patients were routinely provoked into acting out, then restrained and drugged, extending their hospitalization and Medicaid payments.

Dr. Alfred Robenzadeh says in his federal lawsuit filed Monday that supervisors at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla retaliated against him when he tried to address what he says was chronic patient abuse that increased the severity of diagnoses. He alleges the hospital defrauded Medicaid.

Robenzadeh's training was terminated this year, but he says allegations against him of improper moonlighting were trumped up. His complaint names five doctors he says joined in retaliation against him.

The suit was filed under whistleblower laws.

The hospital didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.