HCA Hospital Chain Accused of “Over Stenting” Surgical Procedures at Various Hospitals They Own and Several are in F
Posted Aug 07 2012 2:53am
This was reported by a whistle blower nurse doing the right thing after watching a patient receive a stent who did not needs one and then of course the nurse’s contract was cancelled. The internal investigation didn’t take long to confirm what the nurse had reported either. HCA, the former home of Rick Scott who is now governor in Florida and who was let a few years ago during a fraud investigation to where HCA paid some big fines. Back in March of 2011 they had the largest private equity firm IPO offering of 3.8 billion, a record at that time.
HCA operates 164 hospitals in the US and also own surgical centers and has some interests in the UK. A couple years ago in Maryland there was a siege of over stenting to where the doctor was brought to court. When the internal investigation continued they also found that none of the patients were every notified who may have been entitled to any compensation. Cardiology is a big source revenue for the hospital chain. BD
In the summer of 2010, a troubling letter reached the chief ethics officer of the hospital giant HCA, written by a former nurse at one of the company’s hospitals in Florida.
In a follow-up interview, the nurse said a doctor at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, in the small coastal city of Fort Pierce, had been performing heart procedures on patients who did not need them, putting their lives at risk.
In less than two months, an internal investigation by HCA concluded the nurse was right.
“The allegations related to unnecessary procedures being performed in the cath lab are substantiated,” according to a confidential memo written by a company ethics officer, Stephen Johnson, and reviewed by The New York Times.
Mr. Tomlinson’s contract was not renewed, a move that Mr. Johnson said in the memo was in retaliation for his complaints.
HCA also declined to show that it had ever notified patients, who might have been entitled to compensation from the hospital for any harm.
Some doctors accused in the reviews of performing unnecessary procedures are still practicing at HCA hospitals.
But the pressure is even greater for HCA. In 2000, the company reached one of a series of settlements involving a huge Medicare fraud case with the Justice Department that would eventually come to $1.7 billion in fines and repayments. The accusations, which primarily involved overbilling, occurred when Rick Scott, now the governor of Florida, was the company’s chief executive. He was removed from the post by the board but was never personally accused of wrongdoing.