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Wealth over well-being

He was a trusted doctor for decades in a town not much smaller than Covington. People listened carefully when the cardiologist spoke and they followed his recommendations. When the Munster, Indiana, physician advised them to take medication, they took it. When the heart specialist said someone needed stents inserted, that's what happened. And when he told folks that they needed open heart surgery, their chests were split open so that he could operate.

Now 293 of his former patients have medical malpractice lawsuits pending against him, charging that he performed unnecessary surgical procedures on them. His partners are also named in the legal claims, as well as the hospital where the operations took place.

 

The story of the Indiana cardiologist will undoubtedly remind some of our Cincinnati-area readers of a hospital system in eastern Kentucky that agreed to a $41 million settlement after being accused of billing for unneeded stents and catheterizations. Ashland Hospital Corporation is also named in 120 malpractice lawsuits filed by patients who claim they were subjected to the medically unnecessary procedures.

"Cardiology, whether we like it or not, is generally a big moneymaker for hospitals," said Dr. Steven Nissen, former president of the American College of Cardiology. Nissen told the New York Times that without tight supervision, there are doctors and facilities willing "to turn a blind eye and enjoy the high revenue stream."

Of course, unneeded surgeries, stents, coronary catheters and the like can cause significant physical damage to patients. For those harmed by a cardiologist or other physician more focused on wealth than patients' well-being, a Covington attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

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