NJ Ortho Surgeon Admits to Performing Unnecessary Surgeries
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and orthopedic surgeon Evangelos Megariotis, M.D. have entered into an agreement settling professional misconduct and gross negligence allegations.
The settlement resolves allegations contained in a 2018 complaint that Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed with the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners. The complaint alleged that Dr. Megariotis’ treatment of nine patients between 2012 and 2017 included such allegations of professional misconduct and gross negligence as: “keeping patients on pain pills for years without cause; failing to diagnose and/or treat patients’ underlying conditions; improperly treating conditions outside his [Dr. Megariotis] area of expertise without referring patients to specialists; and performing surgeries without first establishing a legitimate medical need.”
The complaint included specific examples of Dr. Megariotis’ alleged improper behavior. Examples of the alleged behavior include purportedly “[f]ailing to conduct any routine urine or blood testing, and/or to conduct regular lookups on the NJ [New Jersey] Prescription Monitoring Program to ensure patients’ proper use of CDS [Controlled Dangerous Substances], as required.” Other examples of the alleged behavior include when Dr. Megariotis supposedly performed “surgery on one patient’s knee, and another patient’s shoulder, despite a lack of diagnostic findings to support the medical necessity for the procedures.”
Dr. Megariotis owned and operated Clifton, New Jersey-based Clifton Orthopedic Associates, P.A. He closed his practice on December 31, 2018.
In 2019, an administrative hearing occurred during which Dr. Megariotis denied all of the allegations. Prior to the judge making his decision, Dr. Megariotis voluntarily agreed to resolve the matter. The parties then entered into an agreement and a final consent order was entered earlier this month (June 2021).
In the consent order, Dr. Megariotis agreed to retire his license to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey. This retirement is to be deemed a “permanent revocation.” He also agreed to return his medical license and Controlled Dangerous Substances registration to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Megariotis agreed to refrain from engaging in activities considered to be the practice of medicine. He also agreed to pay $48,000 in costs.
In the press release, Grewal commented, “Doctors who demonstrate a lack of professional judgement and utter disregard for patient safety by indiscriminately prescribing addictive pain medicine pose a grave danger to their patients and the public at large.”
Grewal continued, “We will not tolerate this behavior from our licensed professionals.”
The press release also noted that Dr. Megariotis is currently “facing federal criminal charges in connection with his prescribing of CDS [Controlled Dangerous Substances].”