Memorial Hermann says physician altered patient records, closed 2 transplant programs as a result

Houston-based Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center told The New York Times J. Steve Bynon Jr., MD, a transplant surgeon and head of the system's abdominal transplant program, admitted to altering patient records, which led to denied care and the recent closure of the system's liver and kidney transplant programs.

Dr. Bynon declined to comment when the Times directly asked him if he altered patient records. The health system alleged he made changes to patient information in a government database, making them ineligible for new liver transplants. Hospital officials discovered patient data on the transplant wait list had been altered to make it "impossible" for them to receive a new organ. In one example, a patient was listed as a 300 pound toddler.

Data shows last year 14 Memorial Hermann patients were removed from the waiting list after dying or becoming too sick. The system's mortality rate for patients waiting for transplants was also higher than expected, according to the Times.

Five more patients have died already in 2024 waiting for a liver transplant. Memorial Hermann closed its liver and kidney transplant programs, both of which were led by Dr. Bynon, after discovering the irregularities.

HHS and the United Network for Organ Sharing are investigating the incident, according to the report. 

Becker's has reached out to Memorial Hermann for comment and will update the article with any additional information when it  becomes available.

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