Think about it: 4,000 echocardiograms were not only unread, but unmissed

As we reported a few hours ago, there’s a scandal now underway here in New York City involving 4,000 unread echocardiograms at Harlem Hospital Center. (The story was first reported by Anemona Hartocollis in the New York Times here and here.)

But the story may be far bigger than has so far been reported. A few hours after posting the earlier story I received an email from a cardiologist who is highly familiar with the New York City hospital scene. Here’s what he wrote:

I think that there’s a bigger story that people are missing. The problem is not just 4000 echos went unread, but think about it — 4000 echos were ordered by referring physicians, and no one asked why they didn’t get a report? Something stinks, and it’s not just the echo lab. It’s the whole hospital.

Just wondering: perhaps by the end of this story 4,000 echocardiograms might seem be just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.


  1. So, has anyone determined if Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, or the patients were billed for these echos?


  1. […] has found “life-threatening diagnoses” on some of the tests. (See our stories here and here for […]

  2. […] Think about it: 4,000 echocardiograms were not only unread, but unmissed (May 28, 2010) […]

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