Unnamed Maryland Hospital Under Investigation for Possibly Performing Unnecessary Procedures

An investigation has been launched over a second unnamed Maryland hospital suspected of unnecessarily using heart stents to treat cardiac patients, according to a Baltimore Sun report.

The series of investigations stemmed from data published in a report by the Office of the Inspector General, Physicians' Board and other agencies revealing the high frequency of Maryland hospitals using heart stents. St. Joseph Medical Center of Towson, Md., was the first institution to be accused of unnecessarily using cardiac stents.

Dr. Mark Midei, former head of St. Joseph's cardiac lab, has been accused of placing hundreds of stents in patients who did not need them, with data indicating that St. Joseph's is one of the top stent-placement centers in the state. Data also showed that the medical center, along with Union Memorial in Baltimore and Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., exceeded the state average use of heart stents by 20-30 percent over the last five years, according to the report.

Representatives from Union Memorial and Washington Adventist have stated that the facilities are focused on patient health. Neither institution has been contacted about a state investigation, according to the report.

The agencies' report also published procedural and legislative recommendations, including increased information-sharing amongst the agencies. Currently, state laws prohibit the disclosure of physicians' names in certain types of investigations with the exception of a few agencies, which the report cites as a roadblock to regulating medical care, according to the report.

Another recommendation includes fortifying hospital' peer review practices to ensure suspicious activities, like high volume of specific procedures, are monitored closely.

Read the Baltimore Sun's report about the investigation into Maryland hospitals.

Read other coverage about fraud investigations:

- DOJ Investigates Allegations Florida Health System Assisted WellCare in Medicaid Fraud

- Justice Department Files to Intervene in Whistleblower Kickback Case Against Pfizer

- 18 Florida Hospitals Under Investigation for Improper Medicaid Billing

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