Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) February 15, 2012 – Recent news reports have revealed a frightening medical practice of over-stenting. Ironically, a doctor charged with putting a stop to it does it in his practice.
“There are times when you read the news and just shake your head at what goes on in the world. The latest material we read was from Maryland, where more than one Maryland doctor was charged with over-stenting. That in itself was bad enough,” pointed out Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of the Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio. “But it got worse when the reports showed a doctor charged with putting a stop to this was still doing the same thing in his practice.”
The doctor in question was a cardiologist, who was asked to be a member of a committee to stop improper stenting. It turns out that a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer caught on to that fact and filed charges on behalf of a patient that had been wrongfully stented in 2005 and 2006. It was not just one doctor involved. There were three, including one that had already been found liable for over-stenting.
The lawsuit was interesting in that the three were accused of wrongfully stenting patients when they were partners in a now-defunct medical practice. “The accusations got worse in this case as the lawyer pointed out that the doctor in question also fluffed reports to make out that a patient’s heart disease was worse than it actually was, just so that he could have grounds to implant a coronary stent,” explained Mellino. Needless to say, the fact that the doctor was nominated for the Technical Advisory Group to deal with the issue of over-stenting casts a nasty shadow of suspicion on the work of the committee as a whole.
One of the other doctors, of the three that had been reviewed by the state Board of Physicians, had his license yanked. He had performed at least 369 unnecessary coronary stents. That issue ended in a whistleblower lawsuit in which the hospital that employed that physician paid out $22 million.
The list does not stop with just the three cardiologists recently mentioned in the news. Yet another physician was charged with implanting stents for no reason, so that he could defraud Medicaid and Medicare. “That doctor is in jail for at least eight years and has also been ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution. Think about that, a doctor performing a serious procedure that is not necessary in order to make money. The word guinea pig comes to mind for their unsuspecting patients,” added Mellino.
When greed overrules good judgment and ethics, there is a serious problem. There is also a serious problem when this type of practice is prevalent in many other states. What that says about human beings, and in particular doctors, is not particularly encouraging.
Mellino Law Firm LLC
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Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901