Last month, we talked about the issue of unnecessary stenting, a form of medical malpractice that compensates doctors well for putting patients’ lives at risk. Now, the Senate Finance Committee (which exposed the level of manipulation behind the dangerous drug Avandia), has released the results of its investigations into one of the most prominent “over-stenting” doctors, Dr. Mark Midei of Baltimore.
Among the committee’s findings:
- Abbott laboratories (whose stents he used) paid Dr. Midei over $30,000 in consulting fees in 2009-2010 (after he had been barred from practice at his hospital over unnecessary stenting allegations)
- Abbott paid at least $1925 for social events at Dr. Midei’s home
- The cost of the potentially unnecessary stent procedures performed by DR. Midei was $6.6 million
Although a 2007 study found that cardiac stent procedures, “usually yield no additional benefit,” when accompanied by drug therapy for patients reporting chronic chest pain, the stent market remains a lucrative one.
The above investigation highlights the activity of one surgeon, but it is likely a common story nationwide. According to the Senate Finance Committee report, Medicare alone paid $3.5 billion for stent procedures in 2009. According to a Harvard study, at least 8% of those procedures are “medically inappropriate”–they should never have been done, meaning that doctors and hospitals are skimming approximately $280 million in cream from Medicare (and nearly $500 million when you add in private insurance) for the stent market. That’s enough to cream to clog a few arteries, for sure.
If you have undergone a cardiac stent procedure you believe may have been unnecessary, you may be able to receive compensation for expenses paid and injuries suffered. You can also help shut down this costly form of medical fraud.
To learn more, please call or email the Columbus, Ohio lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for a free consultation.