When you are in a considerable amount of pain, you will usually do anything to feel relief— including electing to undergo what are advertised as “innovative” and “revolutionary” treatments. Laser Spine surgeries have been preying upon these emotions over the last nine years; and while creating an extremely lucrative business model, those who perform these procedures have exhibited little concern for the plight of the patients who have undergone them. Many of the victims are not only left worse off physically than they were prior to the procedures, but the exorbitant cost of the surgeries have left them in financial ruin as they attempt to cope with their pain and make ends meet at the same time.
A Business Model Geared for Profit First
Laser spinal surgeries are advertised as minimally invasive procedures that allow patients to leave the office immediately following their surgeries feeling pain free. Laser Spine— which performs these procedures— charges roughly $30,000 per procedure and this fee is over twice what insurance companies would normally provide for traditional procedures that do not implement the use of a laser. Laser Spine’s margin of profit has been reported at over 34% and to put this in perspective, Google has a profit margin of only 24%. The company has grown from an upstart in 2006 to one that is now valued at roughly $428 million.
The issue is that while Laser Spine has recorded massive profits, its patients are suffering. Some patients have reported that the procedures failed to reduce their pain or increased it while others have suffered from internal bleeding and spinal fluid leaks that have threatened further injury. After electing to undergo one of the expensive procedures offered by Laser Spine, many patients have needed to have revisionary surgeries elsewhere performed by traditional surgeons in order to correct the damage caused by the laser surgery and then to address the original concern.
A Flurry of Lawsuits
In response to the reckless and greedy behaviors exhibited by Laser Spine, patients have begun to fight back. The company is the defendant of numerous lawsuits being brought against it on grounds that the claims made to patients were false, the risks were not communicated and that Laser Spine did not ensure the wellbeing of its patients following the procedures. Insurance providers are refusing to cover the procedure citing a lack of evidence and research supporting the efficacy of the procedures as well as their safety.
Fifteen lawsuits have been filed against Laser Spine since 2009, and the number of lawsuits filed per procedure is markedly higher than what is considered normal. Outpatient surgeons are normally subject to one claim out of every 3,333 surgeries but Laser Spine is now the subject of fifteen after performing 7,500 procedures between 2006 and 2009. This is a claim rate of one in every 500 procedures, which is six times the national average and as more plaintiffs come forward the ratio may change.
Laser Spine has preyed on the weak, often encouraging those in extreme pain to go deep into debt in order to pay for their procedures on the promise of pain relief. Instead, these patients needed to incur even more debt to pay for additional surgeries and care in order to recover from the injuries they’ve sustained at the hands of a business model that only has profit in mind. If you underwent laser spine surgery and continue to feel pain or suffered additional injuries as a result of the procedure, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to speak with an attorney about your rights as a patient and consumer.
During a free consultation, we will collect all of the information you have available about your case, review the details with you and begin our own investigation into the matter. Following this evaluation, we will review your legal options and let you know what you can expect from the process and how likely your case is to succeed. If for any reason we are unable to collect compensation for you, our services and time will be free.