Dr. Atiq Durrani: Spine surgeon charged with health care fraud says he is being targeted unfairly

MASON - The Mason spine surgeon accused by the government of health care fraud says he is being targeted unfairly.

Dr. Atiq Durrani is planning a Friday news conference to address allegations of Medicaid fraud and performing unnecessary surgeries. It was supposed to be held Tuesday but was rescheduled because one of his attorneys was out of town.

Durrani faces legal challenges in both state and federal courts.

His only public response to them so far has been to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

He said questions about surgeries are "professional disagreements between experts.”

In state courts, attorney Eric Deters has filed more than 150 civil actions alleging medical malpractice.        

"The common thread is they had a surgery that involved the spine that was not necessary," Deters said.

Durrani’s defense team includes criminal attorney Bruce Whitman and civil attorney Michael Lyon.

"He feels like he has done nothing wrong,” Lyon said. “He's prepared to try this case because it's his reputation.  It's his practice.  It's his business.  It's his life.  He has family here.  He's prepared to go forward and go to a jury."

By law, a federal grand jury has consider the case to bring formal charges no later than Aug. 15.

Durrani was released on his own recognizance after being arrested on accusations of Medicare fraud and performing unnecessary surgeries.

Whitman had said he and the doctor have gone over the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office and were ready to respond to the allegations.

Patients supporting Durrani were also expected to speak at the news conference.

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