Articles Posted in Dr. Mark Midei and St. Joseph Hospital – Stent Malpractice

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Almost one year after being charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and engaging in medical malpractice in Towson, Maryland, former St. Joseph’s Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Mark G. Midei has had his license revoked by the Maryland State Board of Physicians. This case has proven to be instructive as to the steps the Board takes when determining appropriate sanctions for misbehaving doctors.

In one of the most talked-about medical malpractice cases in the Baltimore-area, Dr. Midei was accused of implanting unnecessary cardiac stent in many patients. Specifically, the Board found that Dr. Midei falsified blockage percentages in five patients’ coronary arteries and unnecessarily implanted cardiac stents in four of those patients.

The formal findings of the Board were as follows:

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Dr. Mark Midei’s medical license was revoked today by the Maryland Board of Physicians. A copy of the Final Decision and Order can be found here. As set forth in decision, the Board found that Dr. Midei engaged in “unprofessional conduct” and “blatant falsehood.” It found that he is guilty of “failing to deal honestly with patients and colleagues,” that he created “willfully false reports,” and that he unnecessary implanted people with cardiac stents. The Board stated that it found Dr. Midei’s testimony “not credible.” The Board also indicated that Dr. Midei had economic motivation for his misconduct.

In the 11 page decision, other phrases that were used to describe Dr. Midei included the following: “implanted cardiac stents unnecessary”; “falsified the extent of blockage of the patients’ coronary arteries by reporting that it was 80% when it was in reality lower – and in most cases much lower”; in three of the patients, he also falsely reported that they suffered from unstable angina when in fact they did not”; “violated the standard of quality care”; “falsely reported”; “intentional, non-accidental and non-inadvertent false reports that exaggerated the degree of coronary stenosis”; willfully false reports”; “overutilized health care”; “implanted stents unnecessarily, documented clinical indications inaccurately, exaggerated the extent of stenosis and failed to consider more optimal therapies”; “blatant falsehood”; “willfully false nature of some of Dr. Midei’s reports”; “Dr. Midei’s violations were repeated and serious”; “unnecessary stents exposed patients to the risk of harm”; “Dr. Midei’s willful creation of false percentage numbers for the degree of occlusion of coronary arteries is indefensible and amounts to a deliberate and willful fabrication of medical records”; “false findings used to justify unnecessary stent insertions”; “Dr. Midei acted in bad faith.”

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A grand jury has indicted a cardiologist in Salsibury, Maryland, Dr. John McLean, accusing him of health care fraud for allegedly submitting insurance claims for inserting unnecessary cardiac stents, ordering unnecessary tests and procedures and falsely documenting patient records. In addition to jail time, the indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $519,000 and two real estate parcels. The indictment states that Dr. McLean performed cardiac catheterizations on patients at Peninsula Regional Medical Center from late 2003 to 2007, and that he falsely recorded that patients’ coronary arteries were 70 percent blocked when they were not. Generally, patients must have a 70 percent blockage before stents are considered medically necessary.

I am handling a number of cases of unnecessary cardiac stents placed by Dr. Mark Midei at Saint Joseph Medical Center. As set forth in earlier posts on this blog, I have been saying all along that it is only a matter of time until Dr. Midei is indicted for insurance fraud for what he did.

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Attorneys Andrew G. Slutkin, Jamison G. White and the law firm of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White have filed one of the first medical malpractice lawsuits against Dr. Mari Midei, Midatlantic Cardiovascular and St. Joseph Medical Center as a result of Dr. Midei unnecessary implanting a patient with a cardiac stent during cardiac catheterization. The lawsuit, which is sure to be followed by many others, makes claims for medical negligence; negligent hiring, retention and/or supervision; fraud; concealment; negligent misrepresentation; battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium. A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here

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As I mentioned in a recent blog post, administrative charges have been filed by the Maryland Board of Physicians against Dr. Mark Midei, the Towson cardiologist accused of medical malpractice for implanting unnecessary cardiac stents in more than five hundred people. A copy of an article detailing the charges can be found here.

I was unable to easily find online a copy of the Maryland Board of Physicians’ Complaint against Dr. Mark Midei charging document, so I obtained a copy from the Board. You can view the document by clicking here

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Dr. Mark Midei, the cardiologist accused of implanting unnecessary cardiac stents in over five hundred people, has been administratively charged by the Maryland Board of Physicians, according to the charging document made public today. The charges include “gross overutilization of health care services” and “willfully making a false report or record in the practice of medicine.” A copy of an article detailing the charges can be found here.

The charges stem from an investigation by St. Joseph Medical Center, which began after a St. Joe employee claimed that Dr. Midei was fraudulently implanting patients with cardiac stents. St. Joe’s investigation, which examined only a two year time frame during which Dr. Midei performed 2000 stent procedures, found that approximately one in four cardiac stents that he emplaced (over 500 patients) were unnecessary.

In my opinion, the charges are certain to be sustained in this high-profile instance of medical malpractice. It is one thing for a patient or a patient’s lawyers to accuse a doctor of malpractice, but when Dr. Midei’s former employer and peers on the medical board accuse him of widespread malpractice, common sense dictates that it has merit.

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In the continuing saga of the unnecessary cardiac stents that Dr. Mark Midei placed in people at St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Joseph now has sent letters to another 169 patients (in addition to the 369 who originally received letters) informing them that their stents were not necessary. That means that the total number of stent letters St. Joseph has sent now stands at 538.

In an excellent article today by Scott Graham, the Managing Editor / Health Care Reporter for the Baltimore Business Journal, Mr. Graham reported that St. Joseph continues to review Dr. Midei’s stent procedures between May 2007 and 2009 and expects more letters to be issued as the reviews progress. Interestingly, St. Joseph told Mr. Graham that the hospital has determined that only Dr. Midei was unnecessary implanting stents in people and that it was not a systemic problem involving other physicians. A copy of the article can be found here. Mr. Graham has written two other articles on the subject of the stents, which can be found here:

2/26/10 – Maryland Delegate Calls For Investigation Into St. Joseph Medical Center Stents Case.

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There has been a lot of publicity lately about 369 people who have received letters from St. Joseph Medical Center stating that cardiac stents placed by Dr. Mark Midei may not have been necessary. I have been told that St. Joseph has a group of five cardiology experts reviewing Dr. Midei’s cardiac stent procedures during a certain time frame, and if all five doctors agree that the study was misread and the stent was unnecessary the patient gets a letter from St. Joseph. But what about the people who had stents placed by Dr. Midei who did not receive such a letter? Could they have cases? The answer is yes.

St. Joseph’s experts are only looking at a certain time frame and it takes five doctors to agree on the misread. Therefore, if you are outside of the time frame that the St. Joseph doctors are looking at, or if only four out of the five doctors agree that you did not need the stent, you will not get a letter. Already, I have three clients who did not receive letters whose studies were misread and who, therefore, did not need stents.

If you had a stent placed by Dr. Midei and did not receive a letter you still should call an experienced Baltimore, Maryland lawyer / attorney who specializes in medical malpractice to have your cardiac catheterization study reviewed by a leading expert. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

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So far, I have carefully selected about a three medical malpractice cases against Dr. Mark Midei and St. Joseph Medical Center. In each of these cases, the client contacted me either after getting a letter from St. Joseph Medical Center stating that he or she received an unnecessary stent or after reading articles in the newspaper about Dr. Midei and St. Joseph.

To date, there have been seven articles about this fiasco in the Baltimore Sun, consisting of the following:

1/15/10 Patients learn they might have unneeded stents.

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There continue to be many newspaper and television advertisements by lawyers seeking to collect clients for medical malpractice cases against St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson and Dr. Mark Midei for implanting cardiac stents that may not have been necessary. I understand that one of these law firms, which only has a small number of attorneys who regularly handle medical malpractice cases, has collected more than 70 cases. Another one of these law firms has even filed a class action. Still yet another law firm is advertising for cases that it is not even handling; it is simply passing these cases off to medical malpractice lawyers who ultimately will handle the cases.

In my opinion, there is no way that a small law firm handling 70 cases can give each case the proper attention that it deserves. Moreover, there is no way that firm could ever try such a large number of cases effectively. Thus, that firm has a very strong incentive to seek a global resolution of those cases, which may not be in the best interest of its other clients.

As for the firm that has filed a class action, that is simply a strategy of trying to get hold of the clients that have not pursued their cases yet. Since each clients’ case is substantially different, it is unlikely that a class action will be upheld.