Unnecessary Medical Procedures
Written by Faith Anderson on September 11, 2012
Doctors May be Performing Unneeded Procedures
The defendants in the unnecessary heart stent and pacemaker lawsuits include Saint Joseph-London Hospital, nearly a dozen doctors, the parent company (Catholic Health Initiatives), seven different medical practices, and a management company. According to the lawsuits, the medical professionals allegedly received kickbacks and bonuses from the hospital and the manufacturers of devices used during the procedure, such as heart stents and pacemakers.
A number of similar lawsuits were filed against Saint-Joseph London last year, and the claims are currently under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. An investigation was launched against the hospital by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Office of Inspector General in February 2011, finding that the hospital failed to properly review whether heart catheterizations being performed by doctors were actually necessary.
Doctors Misleading Patients With Heart Conditions
The Kentucky hospital’s parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives, is the same firm that owned St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, where more than 600 patients of Dr. Mark G. Midei were warned in 2009 that they may have undergone unnecessary surgery to receive heart stents. Similar to the Kentucky lawsuits, Dr. Midei reportedly told patients that their heart conditions were far more severe than they actually were, in order to obtain consent to perform unneeded procedures. In some cases, Dr Midei told patients they were suffering from severe coronary blockages, when in reality they only had minor blockages that did not require a stent placement. Stent procedures, which are designed to keep blocked arteries open, can cost $10,000 or more, and there typically has to be at least a 70% artery blockage for a stent implant to be deemed necessary.