Surgeries halted at Florida spine practice

Practice Management

The surgery center at the Bonati Spine Institute in Hudson, Fla., was shut down after the state suspended its license, the Tampa Bay Times reported March 17.

Florida healthcare regulators alleged that a "certified surgical technologist" was performing procedures despite not being a licensed physician. The surgery center knowingly allowed the unnamed employee to perform cases despite staff concerns, the Florida Department of Health said in an emergency suspension order filed March 15.

Problems at the surgery center "span perhaps years," according to state officials. It should have known of the "alleged unlicensed surgical practice," but didn't take any demonstrated action.

Attorneys for the center told the Times they "vehemently disagree" with the allegations but will not comment further on pending litigation. They requested a stay of the emergency order from Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal.

Bonati Spine Institute was previously fined for $1,000 in 2022 after leadership failed to alert the state health department of a COVID-19 outbreak sickening seven employees. 

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