Indiana Doctor Accused of Performing Unnecessary Cardiac Treatments
Plaintiffs have reached a settlement for $66 million after suing a doctor who they said performed unnecessary procedures, tests, and surgeries on them to bill their insurance for thousands of dollars. Cases like these are becoming more common across the U.S. There was a time when they were quite rare.
Unnecessary Tests and Medical Procedures
It is generally accepted in medical practice that the risk of a procedure should outweigh the risk of not performing a procedure. Even noninvasive tests could form the basis of a medical malpractice action. Insurance companies often find themselves in losing battles with the doctors because they usually cannot prove that the patient doesn’t have what the doctor says they have. Neither does the patient know enough about medicine to say for certain the test or procedure their doctor has ordered is not necessary. This can leave the doctor with the capacity to order any test or procedure they want regardless of whether or not the patient has the condition the doctor says they have.
An Indiana firm representing the interests of 262 former patients of the defendant. Plaintiffs accused the doctor of installing pacemakers and defibrillators that they didn’t need and ordering an endless barrage of unnecessary tests. Typically when this happens, the doctor owns a stake in the company that performs the tests or otherwise receiving kickbacks from that company to funnel business their way. The more business he funnels, the more money he gets. This ends up causing a situation like the one described above. Meanwhile, patients are terrified that their lives hang in the balance.
Unnecessary Tests and Medical Malpractice
The ordering of unnecessary tests can be considered grounds for medical malpractice. If a patient, for example, is injured during an unnecessary test, they would only have to prove that the test was unnecessary as opposed to any other form of medical negligence. Nonetheless, some doctors can rely on the fact that most people don’t know what they’re doing or whether or not it’s the correct thing to do. In this manner, they can charge a patient’s insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars for tests and procedures that the patient never needed. The patient, of course, is at risk with any medical procedure. The survival rate is never 100%. So the doctor can place all of his or her patients at a grave risk of death for the purpose of charging them a lot of money.
However, the defendant in this case, while signing off on the settlement, refused to admit wrongdoing and insisted that every procedure he ordered was necessary. Since the details of the settlement are sealed, we’ll never know if that’s true or not. The doctor cannot admit that he knew the tests were unnecessary at the time, otherwise, he would be charged with fraud, reckless endangerment, and anything else they could throw at him.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.