The Washington Post reported this week on a settlement in a particularly troubling case of medical deceit. The situation involved a relationship that St. Joseph Medical Center had with MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates-a cardiovascular group co-founded by Mark D. Midei. Midei is a cardiologist who has been charged with medical fraud, causing hundreds of patients to undergo unwarranted heart procedures.
St. Joseph hosptial was charged with taking kickbacks from MidAtlantic in exchange for referring patients to MidAtlantic for “lucrative cardiovascular procedures.” The illegal relationship reportedly took place over a ten year stretch from 1996 to 2006. The kickback was disguised as a payment for services but was instead an attempt to hide the illegal referral scheme. Of course, referral payments in this way incentivize costly, dangerous, and unnecessary treatments. That sort of relationship makes money the object of medical care instead of the needs of the patient.
Dr. Midei eventually left his job at MidAtlantic to work full-time for St. Joseph, taking a high profile seven figure salary. The employment lasted until 2009, when accusations about Midei’s falsification of records led the hospital to contact hundreds of its former patients and warn them of the possible error.
The hospital explained that it “reached the agreement without admitting liability in order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.”
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