St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, has been the subject of recent lawsuits, news reports and a myriad of other woes. Now the Baltimore Sun reports that its conduct will be the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation - Senators launch fraud inquiry of Md. hospital – baltimoresun.com.
The controversy swirling around the hospital concerns the alleged placement of unnecessary cardiac artery stents in patients at the hospital by one of its former (now terminated) cardiologists, Dr. Mark Midei.
After a lawsuit was brought in Maryland by one of Dr. Midei’s former patients, the hospital issued a statement to a local news station, WBAL:
“St. Joe’s was guided by the belief that it has a moral and ethical responsibility to inform these patients of what happened. This is consistent with our mission and core values. It was the right thing to do,” the representative said through a statement.
“Questions about potential liability remain to be resolved. SJMC takes its responsibility to patients very seriously, which is why we conducted a review and notified patients and physicians. Our focus has been and will continue to be to put patients first,” the representative continued.
In a follow-up report written today, February 20, 2010, the Baltimore Sun reports:
Federal lawmakers have asked St. Joseph Medical Center to turn over three years of billing records and other documents related to cardiac care, saying they are troubled by reports of unnecessary coronary stents implanted at the Towson hospital and want to investigate for signs of Medicare fraud.
Montana Sen. Max Baucus and Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley – the top Democrat and senior Republican, respectively, on theSenate Finance Committee – also asked the hospital for records of its financial relationship with manufacturers of the medical devices. They set a March 12 deadline, saying their committee was launching an inquiry as part of its role “to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse.”
An internet search on this story quickly reveals that a number of law firms have gotten into the fray. Most notably, a class action lawsuit has been filed by Billy Murphy’s law firm and the Law Offices of Peter Angelos alleging, among other claims, fraud on the part of the hospital.
In a statement given to BEMORENEWS.com, Billy Murphy said:
Murphy added, “It is unfortunate that an institution such as St. Joseph, which has served so many people so well for so many years, would have allowed such a practice to have occurred.”
In today’s article, The Sun reports that the hospital has pledged to fully cooperate with the Senate committee’s investigation.
“Transparency and cooperation are in the best interest of the hospital’s patients, physicians, employees and community,” they said in a statement released Friday.
Dr. Midei has been recognized for years to be one of the area’s leading cardiologists. As Billy Murphy said in his statement, St. Joe’s has held the reputation of being one of the area’s best hospitals serving many in the community for decades. How could it all have gone so bad? Seems like the story is just beginning…and gets worse almost by the day.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact: Lisa Bennett, 410-951-8811 or 410-940-8590 Lisa.Bennett@murphypa.com