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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:53 PM

U.S. Settles Accusations That Doctors Overtreated

Source: NYT

A group of doctors who performed unusually high rates of heart procedures on patients at a community hospital in Ohio settled with the Justice Department over accusations that some of the procedures were medically unnecessary, federal regulators announced on Friday.

The settlement covered accusations that the doctors and the hospital, then known as the EMH Regional Medical Center, had billed Medicare for unnecessary medical care from 2001 to 2006. The hospital agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle the accusations, and the physician group, the North Ohio Heart Center, agreed to pay $541,870, according to a Justice Department statement.

Federal regulators had accused the doctors and the hospital of performing unnecessary procedures known as angioplasties, in which a clogged blood vessel is opened. The procedure often requires insertion of a device called a stent to keep the blood vessel from closing again.

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, which was involved in the investigation. “Patient health and taxpayer dollars have to come before greed,” he said.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/business/us-settles-accusations-that-doctors-overtreated.html

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Reply U.S. Settles Accusations That Doctors Overtreated (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
Dustlawyer Jan 2013 #1

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:22 PM

1. For all of the bad rap attorneys get, we police our own vigorously. Doctors on the other hand,

protect each other to the point that these clowns, none of whom will be suspended, are free to violate their Hippocratic Oath again and again! Just agreeing to a settlement of wrongdoing would result in at least a suspension of your license as an attorney. Four times the National average for procedures and they call it "aggressive treatment!" I think of all of those scared families in the waiting rooms. Of the ones who heard the dreaded news that their loved one did not survive because of a blood clot, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, or some other risk caused by a surgery. We suffer a great deal from unnecessary and expensive procedures, and the Fox is guarding the hen house. Medical malpractice suits are getting harder and harder to prove as lawmakers continue to whittle away our rights and the checks and balances in the system in the name of Tort Reform! In Texas, you can just about forget being able to find an attorney to file a med mal case. With a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages, if you are a child, retiree, or have been a House Wife/Husband, you have no lost wages to add enough value to make a case an attorney can make money at. Even if the attorney hits a home run, the costs of the experts and other expenses would eat up the whole amount. This is by design to "get rid of those frivolous lawsuits!" The Republicans want to get the Texas medical malpractice laws to be in every state in the nation. 6% of the doctors commit 90% of the malpractice. If you want real reform, start there!

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