MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Maryland cardiologist Dr. Mark Midei had his license revoked by the state Board of Physicians over allegations that he implanted unnecessary coronary stents in 369 patients while working at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md.
Midei will "more likely than not" appeal the decision, his lawyers told the Baltimore Business Journal.
The story starts with a lawsuit filed by a trio of cardiac surgeons who alleged that St. Joseph and an independent practice ran a 10-year scheme to drive referrals.
The hospital and Midei were slapped with a class-action lawsuit two weeks after the hospital notified patients about the possibly unneeded procedures in January 2010. A Towson attorney later filed 101 complaints against the two alleging conspiracy, negligence and fraud.
In November 2010, St. Joseph agreed to pay $22 million to the federal government to settle a whistleblower lawsuit over the implantations, without admitting any guilt.
Midei lost his license this week after the board found that he had exaggerated the extent to which arteries were blocked in four of the five patients investigated, the paper reported. Midei has a pending lawsuit against St. Joseph, accusing them of destroying his reputation.
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Novation announces a new contract with Covidien
Group purchasing organization Novation inked a new deal with Covidien plc (NYSE:COV) for level-of-consciousness monitoring, according to a press release.
Though jilted by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) in February, the Irving, Texas-based GPO has been quick to fill the vacancies with MDT competitors.
Medtronic made headlines — and pleased Wall Street — when it canceled several contracts for its cardiovascular and orthopedic products with Novation worth an estimated $2 billion a year. A few weeks later the Fridley, Minn.-based medical device giant spiked a deal with Premier Inc. for some of its spine products.
The med-tech goliath insisted that the cancellations weren’t part of a larger strategy to side-step GPOs, but analysts suspected that the sudden decision, which sparked a Senate probe, might start a trend of device makers bucking purchasing groups.
A growing list of GPO deals over the past few months put those speculations to rest.
Health care workers and executives protest federal spending cuts on Boston’s Beacon Hill
More than 50 health care workers and executives met on Boston’s Beacon Hill to protest federal funding cuts yesterday, warning that the health care cuts could devastate a key sector of the Massachusetts economy.
Protestors included members of trade groups, insurance companies and local religious organizations, the Boston Globe’s Boston.com reported.
"This is not a benign game that has no consequences," said Reverend Hurman Hamilton, pastor at Roxbury Presbyterian Church and president of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. "This is not a video game where you can drive recklessly off a cliff and then push ‘start again’… They’re playing Russian roulette with the funds of health care. This is insanity."
FDA issues draft guidelines for reviewing targeting drug therapies together with the devices they rely on
Targeted treatments or drugs tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup may have to rely on FDA approval for their accompanying diagnostic devices before getting a pass from the agency, according to new policy proposals published by the FDA this week.
"One reason for increasing interest is the emergence of new technologies that can distinguish subsets of populations that respond differently to treatment. These technologies are making it increasingly possible to individualize, or personalize, medical therapy by identifying patients who are most likely to respond, or who are at lower or higher risk for a particular side effect," the FDA noted.
The agency is seeking public comment on the proposal, which suggests simultaneous review of personalized drugs alongside their devices, with the exception of treatments for life-threatening conditions with no viable alternative and treatments with risks that pale in comparison to benefits, Reuters reported.
Driving simulator to help in patient rehabilitation
A driving simulator designed for patient rehabilitation has been installed at 11 Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs facilities, and the program recently expanded to Charité Hospital in Berlin, according to a press release.
The simulator, intended to provide a more engaging treatment session in a safe environment, was developed by researchers at Clemson University and simulation tech company DriveSafety.
"Our ultimate goal is to enable drivers to maximize their independence," said Clemson psychology professor and researcher Johnell Brooks. Therapists using the simulator can work with patients on treatment areas including cognitive, perceptual and physical skills.