The Doctors and Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, Unnecessarily Subjected Patients to Invasive and Potentially Harmful Procedures
Cardiologist Dr. Julie Kovach showed the courage that few other doctors do by exposing abuse within her profession. Dr. Kovach was previously an independent contractor with Jackson Cardiology Associates. She filed a lawsuit alleging Jashu Patel, M.D. and Jackson Cardiology Associates performed catheterizations for patients based on nuclear stress tests that were improperly read as positive.
According to findings by the US government, which investigated and intervened in the case, 75% of patients had no significant blockage and underwent unnecessary, invasive, and potentially harmful procedures. Catheterization involves the snaking of a hollow tube into the heart after making an incision in the groin area.
Unnecessary Procedures Paid For by Medicaid and Medicare
Because the unnecessary procedures were covered by Medicare and Medicaid payments – subsidized with taxpayer money – the government is entitled to money damages under the Federal False Claims Act. The Act allows a private person to bring a lawsuit against people committing a fraud against a government program.
Patel and his practice settled for $2.2 million and Allegiance Health, where the catheterizations were performed, paid $1.8 million. Additionally, as part of the settlement, the doctors entered into an Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. US Attorney Barbara McQuade urged other health care professionals with knowledge of “medically harmful procedures” to come forward by calling the attorney’s office and asking to speak with the criminal or civil health care fraud coordinators, or through the “Qui Tam Whistleblower Mechanism” as civil suits to help the government prevent fraud.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.