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Hospital and doctors sued for unnecessary surgeries

One Kentucky hospital and several cardiologists are facing lawsuits filed by patients who claim that they underwent unnecessary procedures. These hospital errors are being disputed by the defendants, although there is other evidence suggesting that there may have been unnecessary surgeries, catheterizations and other procedures performed on patients.

Altogether, 400 patients are involved in the lawsuit along with 11 cardiologists. The hospital, located in the Kentucky city of London, was cited by Medicare and Medicaid for failure to review the necessity of some 3,367 catheterizations that were performed in 2010 and is currently being investigated by the Justice Department to evaluate the medical necessity of cardiac procedures performed by the facility.

One of the cardiologists named as defendants in the lawsuit is also being investigated separately for criminal fraud and was previously found by the Kentucky Medical Licensure Board to have performed surgeries that did not meet the requisite standard of care. One report by a professor at the University of Louisville revealed that the hospital had performed more PCIs than either of the two major teaching hospitals in the state. Incidentally, after the filing of the lawsuits, invasive procedures performed at the facility dropped by about 33 percent.

Victims of unnecessary surgeries may be entitled to compensation from the doctor, hospital or other healthcare entities involved. Many malpractice victims recover costs of additional treatment, increased living expenses and lost wages caused by health issues as well as sums for pain and suffering. A medical malpractice attorney may explain one's options and may be able to assist a victim in recovering damages for his or her injuries.

Source: Forbes, "400 patients sue Kentucky hospital and 11 cardiologists over unnecessary procedures," Larry Husten, Feb. 17, 2013

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