Maryland’s St. Joseph Medical Center agreed to repay $22 million to the federal government to settle claims that federal prosecutors brought regarding unnecessary medical procedures. Prosecutors alleged that, over the course of a decade, the Medical Center had a kickback scheme in place with a group of cardiologists to perform the procedures. A cardiologist from the Medical Center had co-founded the group, but then left to work full time at St. Joseph’s for a salary in the millions.
One part of the scheme involved the co-founding cardiologist submitting claims for medically unnecessary coronary stents. St. Joseph’s would then receive federal money for the procedures. The scheme also involved the Medical Center paying the group of cardiologists for patient referrals for lucrative cardiovascular procedures. It disguised the payments as being for services, when, in reality, they were kickbacks for sending patients to that particular hospital.
St. Joseph Medical Center and the group of cardiologists do not appear to have been acting in the best interests of their patients. In fact, the settlement that the Medical Center will pay does not force them to admit any liability. Over 100 patients have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against the hospital and the cardiologist in question. Kickback schemes and fraudulent activity like this encourage healthcare providers to place profits over care, and patients suffer as a result.
Medical malpractice victims can speak with a Maryland personal injury attorney to learn what options they have to obtain compensation and to hold negligent healthcare providers responsible. If medical malpractice has injured you or a loved one, contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot L.L.P.