Doctor Performs Unnecessary Surgery For Profit

Medical Malpractice Lawyer St. LouisRecently, a settlement was reached in a medical malpractice case that involved a doctor and a hospital implanting heart stents in multiple patients without medical necessity.

St. Joe’s hospital and Dr. Mark Midei were accused of profiting by subjecting patients to unnecessary heart stent implantation surgery.

In 2010 a federal investigation and medical investigation uncovered evidence that there were hundreds of cases between 2007 and 2009 wherein Dr. Midei participated in this medically unnecessary procedure. The litigation had 21 separate plaintiffs who shared similar stories in which the doctor lied to them about the need for a heart stent and then performed the implantation surgery though the surgery was unwarranted.

Guidelines from several national heart organizations indicate that patients should only receive stents if their artery blockage was more than 70 percent. Yet, Dr. Midei performed the procedure on patients who had blockages of around 20-30 percent. Midei told patients, however, that their blockages were 80-95 percent and the surgery was an immediate need.

Attorneys for the 21 plaintiffs who felt they were fraudulently duped into undergoing the heart stent surgery, argued that both the hospital and Dr. Midei were consciously breaking the rules by going against the normal treatment standard by continuously performing these procedures. Attorneys also argued that by performing a higher than normal number of these procedures, the doctor and the hospital profited exponentially.

Attorneys for Dr. Midei countered that the doctor was an expert in his field and few surgeons can perform this type of procedure.

The same law firm that represented these 21 patients also represents 200 additional cases that are related.

The trial began in April and was predicted to last around six months, but was resolved in a settlement weeks later.

The hospital is now owned by the state of Maryland, but at the time of these incidents the hospital was owned by Catholic Health Initiatives.

The hospital was involved in another medical malpractice lawsuit which alleged that St. Joe’s violated the Anti-Kickback, Stark Law, and the False Claims Act. In return for referrals of patients who are insured by federal healthcare programs for cardiac procedures, the hospital made illegal payments to the cardiology group, MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates. These illegal payments were allegedly made between 1998 and 2006. St. Joe’s settled this case and agreed to pay $22 million.

The terms of the new settlement between St. Joe’s and the 21 plaintiffs have not been made public, but Jay Miller, attorney to the plaintiffs, reported that his clients were happy with the settlement amount.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Patients put an unprecedented amount of trust in their healthcare professionals and a doctor’s ability to determine the best course of action for promoting patients’ health and well being and then acting accordingly. When a doctor violates this trust so egregiously, they must be held accountable.

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact the experienced Missouri medical malpractice attorneys at Zevan and Davidson Law Firm immediately. There are usually statutes of limitation on medical malpractice cases. Failing to act quickly could damage your case.

Call the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200 or schedule your free consultation.



More about this story on:

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New York Times


photo credit: phalinn

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