Maryland hospital tells hundreds of heart patients their stents may have been unnecessary

St Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD has informed hundreds of patients who received stents that they may have undergone an unnecessary procedure, according to a story by Robert Little in the Baltimore Sun.

The action is the latest development in a federal investigation of health-care fraud into the hospital’s cardiology practice, according to the story. The patients had all received stents from the hospital’s star interventionalist, Mark G. Midei, who last summer lost his hospital privileges and stopped practicing.

Hospital CEO Jeffrey Norman told Little that an internal review last spring started “at the behest of federal investigators and in response to a patient complaint” and “turned up 369 patients with stents that appear to have been implanted in their arteries unnecessarily.” The article cites the case of a 69-year-old man who “was told his artery had a 95 percent blockage, yet the new review suggests something closer to 10 percent.”

In a statement Midei said he expected to be exonerated and to return to his medical practice. The article quotes another patient who said that her “symptoms cleared up almost immediately” after receiving a stent from Midei for what she was told was a 90% blockage. The hospital now says the blockage was less than 50%, but “no one can ever tell me that I didn’t need that stent,” she said. “I feel like he saved my life.”

The article quotes a malpractice attorney in Towson: “and they not only had a procedure that wasn’t needed, they have a stent in their artery for the rest of their life, they’re on a serious blood-thinning drug, and there’s the psychological effect of being led to believe that you have heart disease.”

Last summer St Joseph announced a settlement of a federal case tied to the hospital’s relationship with MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates, which Little calls “the dominant cardiology practice in suburban Baltimore.” Although the hospital claims the fraud case and the stent case are unrelated, the article notes that Midei “was a founding member of MidAtlantic” before leaving for St Joseph’s in 2008.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I first wrote about this case in January, and when I revisited the case last week by posting a guest comment on the case by Robert Wachter, […]

  2. […] Maryland hospital tells hundreds of heart patients their stents may have been unnecessary […]

  3. […] Maryland hospital tells hundreds of heart patients their stents may have been unnecessary […]

Speak Your Mind

*