Auburn Cardiologist Indicted on Charges of Unnecessary Heart Stent Procedures

Alabama-Unnecessary Heart Stent ProceduresUnnecessary Heart Stent Procedures Alleged Against Alabama Doctor

Alabama Heart Stent attorney note a recent report from the Opelika-Auburn News reports that John W. Mitchell, an Auburn cardiologist, has been indicted “for allegedly submitting false claims for inserting unnecessary heart stents, as well as falsely documenting patient medical records.”  The procedures were allegedly performed at the East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC). The report goes on to state:

According to the indictment, the scheme lasted between January 2006 and February 2012, where Dr. Mitchell falsely recorded the existence of coronary artery blockages in procedures at his private practice at The Heart Center Cardiology in Auburn, which is also known as the Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Care. The indictment lists at least two patients who claimed to have been defrauded.

“A coronary stent was not considered medically necessary absent a diagnosis of at least a 70 percent blockage,” the release stated. “In an apparent attempt to increase his profit, Dr. Mitchell is alleged to have implanted stents in patients who did not have a 70 percent or more blockage in their arteries while falsely recording otherwise in their medical records.

The indictment follows the settlement of similar charges by King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky, based on the actions of cardiologists at that facility, as previously reported by Bloomberg/Businessweek.

EAMC responded to the recent allegations against its employee, saying that it was both “surprised and disappointed to learn that Dr. John Mitchell has been charged with Medicare fraud.” Mitchell responded in an email that he was “disappointed that the government has chosen to bring untrue charges against me.”

The concern with unnecessary heart procedures and the falsifying of medical records that naturally goes with them is not limited to courts of law in Kentucky and Alabama. The United States Department of Justice has become increasingly involved in this growing problem wherein doctors and hospitals are alleged to trade the trust and safety of their patients for profit. Stuart F. Delery, the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, released a statement that,  “Hospitals that place their financial interests above the well-being of their patients will be held accountable.”

Recipient of a Heart Stent? Contact an Attorney Today.

If you or a loved one has received a heart stent from a hospital in Alabama that you think may have been unnecessary, contact Attorney Group for Alabama today.  We will evaluate your case, free of charge, and help you determine if you have a claim.  We can also connect you with an affiliated Alabama heart stent attorney who can help you pursue your claim and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to recover damages on your behalf.  The time to file a lawsuit is limited, so contact Attorney Group for Alabama today.