Federal officials to inspect 2 DMC hospitals after ex-cardiology leaders cite patient safety issues

CMS authorized an investigation of Detroit Medical Center after four cardiologists who were pushed out of their leadership roles at the institution voiced their concerns about patient safety issues at DMC, The Detroit News reports.

DMC leadership announced in an email to staff Oct. 1 that Mahir Elder, MD; Amir Kaki, MD; and Tamam Mohamad, MD, were asked to resign from their administrative leadership positions in the hospital's cardiology department after allegedly violating the health system's conduct standards. The physicians will also stop treating patients in the hospital's emergency room. Ted Schreiber, MD, also resigned from the medical staff during DMC's internal investigation into the complaints.

Drs. Elder, Kaki and Mohamad will continue seeing patients at DMC, while Dr. Schreiber resigned his clinical privileges.

Several of the physicians told the Detroit Free Press they were asked to step down in retaliation for repeated complaints about patient safety issues at the institution. However, DMC told Becker's Hospital Review Oct. 2, "Any suggestion that these leadership transitions were made for reasons other than violations of our standards of conduct is false."

The cardiologists said they made repeated complaints about poor patient care, including at least one patient death and a tray of dirty surgical instruments discovered by another physician colleague roughly one month ago, The Detroit News reports.

"CMS has authorized an investigation at Harper University Hospital and Detroit Receiving Hospital in response to recent media reports to determine if the facilities are in compliance with the agency's conditions of participation," CMS said in an Oct. 10 email to The Detroit News.

If DMC fails the CMS inspection, the institution is at risk of losing funding from the agency. DMC has reportedly faced patient safety concerns for more than a decade, and has failed state and federal health inspections at several hospitals in the past, according to the report.

"The surveyors have not arrived but we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the quality and safety protocols we have in place and how seriously we take them," a DMC spokesperson told Becker's in an emailed statement Oct. 10.

To access the full report, click here.

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