A whistleblower nurse prevented more catastrophes when he wrote the chief of ethics officer at the hospital corporate giant HCA. According to the nurse, disturbing practices occurred while he was working at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Florida, which is one of HCA's hospitals. According to the nurse, Mr. C. T. Tomlinson, the doctor working above him was performing unnecessary heart procedures on his patients, putting their lives at risk. But this wasn't the only problem at HCA.
Unfortunately, Mr. Tomlinson's contract was not renewed, which he attributes to his whistleblowing even though HCA conducted their own investigation and indeed confirm his claims that the doctor was performing unnecessary heart surgeries. But Mr. Tomlinson's evidence wasn't the only damning evidence against HCA–internal and external documents revealed that there was more than one or two rogue doctors conducting unnecessary heart procedures, although internal documents did not document the frequency or number of injuries that resulted. Examples of unnecessary procedures include cardiac catheterization on patients without heart disease and a 44-year-old man who came to the ER complaining of chest pain and a severely irregular heartbeat after undergoing an unnecessary heart procedure. All of these unnecessary procedures equated to high costs and soaring profits for HCA.
HCA is the largest not-for-profit hospital in the U.S. and has 163 facilities. Uncovered evidence suggests that unnecessary procedures were occuring as early as 2002 and as recently as 2010. Doctors sometimes lied in medical reports to justify the necessity of the heart procedures they performed. HCA already paid a large Medicare fraud settlement to the Justice Department in 2000 totaling $1.7 billion in fines and repayments primarily for overbilling, but it looks as if their bad behavior hasn't ended.
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.