MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A years-old over-stenting dispute is coming to a head as the former owner of St. Joseph Medical Center in Maryland agreed to pay up to $37 million to resolve patient lawsuits.
The agreement could help put to rest complaints from more than 230 patients who stand to get at least $134,000 apiece in addition to legal fees, according to The Baltimore Sun. A Baltimore judge gave preliminary authorization last week and set a hearing for next month to finalize the agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives.
The lawsuit revolves around accusations that former cardiologist Mark Midei forged medical records to justify cardiac stenting in hundreds of patients. Midei has fervently denied the accusations, but Maryland healthcare regulators stripped him of his medical license in 2012 after deciding that the doctor committed "repeated and serious" violations.
A civil lawsuit filed against Midei and CHI closed in 2012 ahead of Midei’s testimony, reportedly without his agreement. Midei told reporters at the time that he was not involved in the settlement and did not consent or contribute to it in any way.
The former heart doc in April 2012 lost a bid to charge St. Joseph’s with defamation, based on his claims that the center attempted to foist blame on him for over-treating patients. Accused of implanting unnecessary stents in as many as 369 patients, Midei has always claimed innocence.
He’s not the only cardiologist accused of over-stenting. Similar accusations were leveled against another Maryland physician, Dr. John Wang, in December 2011. In November of that year, Dr. John McLean, who also practiced in the Old Line State, received an 8-year prison sentence for Medicare fraud related to over-stenting. And last December, an interventional cardiologist in Louisiana began his 10-year sentence after losing an appeal.
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