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Published: January 1st, 2010
Former patients of Dr. Mark Midei who received a coronary artery stent procedure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland may have important legal rights. According to letters sent by the hospital to hundreds of patients, it appears that some patients received a stent when it may not have been needed.
STATUS ST. JOSEPH STENT LAWSUITS: Maryland malpractice lawyers are reviewing potential claims for individuals who received a letter about issues identified with a cardiac catheterization procedure with stent placement at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland.
OVERVIEW: St. Joseph Medical Center is among the top cardiovascular hospitals in the United States. However, it has recently been disclosed that the prominent doctor who headed up their cardiovascular catheterization unit may have performed hundreds of unnecessary procedures to implant cardiac stents in patients who did not have blockages that required such treatment.
Cardiac catheterization is done for both investigational and interventional purposes. Typically if a blockage of 70% or more is found, doctors may recommend that a small mesh-like stent be implanted into the artery with a catheter to prop open the artery. The stent will normally remain in place for the rest of the patient’s life.
While millions of stents are implanted every year, the procedure does carry the risks of complications, and can have a long-term effect on the health of patients who receive a stent when their blockage may have been treatable without a stent.
ST. JOSEPH STENT IMPLANTS BY DR. MARK MIDEI: Starting in December 2009, St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland began sending out hundreds of letters to former patients of Dr. Mark Midei who were identified as potentially receiving a stent that may not have been necessary.
An internal review of procedures done by Dr. Mark Midei was initiated after a federal investigation was launched into certain practices at the hospital.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office is responsible for investigating Medicare fraud and other health law violations. The agency has been investigating St. Joseph hospital since June 2008, amid allegations that decisions about patient care were affected by the financial relationship between the hospital and an affiliated group of cardiologists founded by Dr. Mark Midei.
St. Joseph Medical Center opened a new heart-catheterization lab in December 2008, and Dr. Midei was hired to work for the hospital as the director of the catheterization suite. In July 2009, the Baltimore Sun reported that St. Joseph reached a settlement with the federal government regarding the investigation, but no details have been provided.
Since that time, an internal review of patients treated by Dr. Mark Midei has found at least 369 stent implants at St. Joseph that may have been unnecessary. The hospital began sending letters in early December 2009 and additional notifications may be sent to other patients as additional procedures are reviewed. So far all of the cases identified where unneeded stents were implanted have involved Dr. Mark Midei.
After being told that they had blockages as high as 80% to 95%, subsequent reviews have found that many patients only had minor blockages, sometimes as low as 10%, which did not require a stent implant.
To review whether you, a friend or family member may be entitled to compensation as a result of an unneeded stent implant at St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore County, Maryland, submit your case information for review by a lawyer.