Kentucky heart stent and angioplasty attorneys note allegations of abuse in the use of heart procedures against Kentucky hospitals amid federal Medicare and Medical fraud probes, as well as heart stent lawsuits being filed on behalf of injured patients. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of an unnecessary heart stent procedure, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky today for a free, no obligation consultation to help determine whether you might be eligible to pursue a claim with the assistance of a Kentucky heart stent lawyer.
What is a Heart Stent?
A heart, or cardiac, stent is used in a medical procedure known as an angioplasty where a small metal mesh tube is placed in an artery in order to improve blood flow in the artery. Stents are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease. In such cases, plaque build up on the walls of an artery increase a patient’s risk of heart attack or stroke, and the heart stent can help reduce that risk. Stents are also used after a heart attack to restore blood flow in an artery that may have contributed to the heart attack.
What are the Risks of Heart Stents?
Whereas heart stents can benefit patients who have suffered from a heart attack or have severely blocked arteries, risk associated with the device include blood clots, bleeding from anti-clotting medicine and blockages from coronary scar tissue. For this reason, a rule of thumb in the healthcare industry is that angioplasty and the use of a cardiac stent should not be considered unless an artery is 70% blocked.
Allegation of Fraud and Abuse by Kentucky Heart Stent Doctors
According to an online article by the Lexington Herald-Leader, in reporting on a $16.5 million settlement reached between the federal government and St. Joseph Health System, a member of the Catholic Health Initiatives system of hospitals:
[D]octors who worked there have been accused in lawsuits of submitting bills to government-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for hundreds of unnecessary heart procedures at the facility.
The government contended that doctors at [St. Joseph] performed unneeded heart catheterizations and bypass graft surgeries, and installed stents and pacemakers that were not justified by the patients’ conditions.
Additionally, on May 29, 2014, Bloomberg/Businessweek reported on agreement between the federal government and King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky for payment of $41 million by the hospital “to settle charges under the False Claims Act it overpaid physicians so they would refer heart patients to the hospital for lucrative procedures.”
The settlement of government claims is not expected to affect individual claims that have been, and are expected to be, brought against the hospital.
Recipient of a Heart Stent? Contact an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have received a heart stent from a hospital in Kentucky that you think may have been unnecessary, contact the Kentucky Injury Attorney Group 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 Kentucky 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 the Kentucky Injury Attorney Group today.