A group of doctors at an Ohio community hospital settled with the Justice Department over accusations that some of the unusually high rates of heart procedures performed on patients were medically unnecessary, according to The New York Times.
Medicare patients at the EMH Regional Medical Center in Elyria were receiving angioplasties at a rate nearly four times the national average. The procedure often required insertion of a stent to keep a clogged blood vessel from closing again.
Federal regulators accused the doctors and the hospital of performing expensive and inappropriate medical treatments from 2001 to 2006 because of the high fees the procedures generated. The hospital agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle the accusations.
Besides the cost to Medicare, "performing medically unnecessary cardiac procedures puts patients' lives at risk," said Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, who was involved in the investigation. "Patient health and taxpayer dollars have to come before greed." Read the full details here:
"This article highlights a problem which is more widespread than the government or lawyers are able to uncover," said Steve Crandall, a leading medical malpractice attorney throughout Ohio and Kentucky. "Physicians and entire hospital systems perform needless procedures, which lead to medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, in an effort to bill Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for these procedures."
If you or a family member believe you have a medical malpractice case, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation.