Another 169 St. Joseph Stent Patients Notified Of Unneeded Implants

Another 169 former patients of Dr. Mark G. Midei who received a stent implant at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland have been informed that they may have undergone a procedure they did not need.

After notifying 369 patients about unnecessary stent procedures by Dr. Midei late last year, St. Joseph Medical Center confirmed Tuesday that additional letters were sent last month, according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. This brings the total number of confirmed unnecessary stent implants by Dr. Midei to 538, and many anticipate that more St. Joseph stent letters are likely to be sent as other procedures are reviewed.

The letters inform former St. Joseph patients that their coronary stent procedure may not have been needed, even though they were told by Dr. Midei that the stent was implant because of severe coronary blockages. The stent surgery problems at St. Joseph Medical Center were uncovered as part of an on-going federal investigation of Medicare fraud and other health law violations involving the financial relationship between the hospital and an affiliated group of cardiologists. While St. Joseph hospital initially denied that any patient care was impacted, they are no longer making such statements, and have since started reviewing all procedures performed by Dr. Midei between May 2007 and 2009.

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Dr. Midei, who led the hospital’s cardiac catheterization unit, has denied any wrongdoing. The hospital stripped him of his position at the hospital last summer without explanation, and at least three other executives have left their jobs amid the investigation.

The stent procedures, which are designed to prop open arteries that are significantly blocked, can cost $10,000 or more. Typically it is necessary for there to be at least a 70% artery blockage for a stent implant to be necessary, and many patients who have received these letters were originally told that they had blockages over that amount. However, after a subsequent review of records from the procedure, many of the patients were found to have blockages that were well under 50%, which is generally considered “insignificant.” Some patients who received stents had blockages as low as 10%.

St. Joseph coronary stent lawsuits have been filed by individuals and the hospital also faces a stent surgery class action lawsuit seeking to force the hospital to pay for a review of patient records and to impose certain requirements on the hospital before they can perform stent procedures.


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