LifePoint faces 15 lawsuits over improper heart procedures

Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Hospitals is facing 15 lawsuits and is the subject of a federal investigation over improper interventional cardiology procedures, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the hospital operator.

LifePoint self-reported the matter to the Department of Justice after discovering two cardiologists had conducted the improper procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratories at two of its hospitals: Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma, Ala., and Raleigh (W. Va.) General Hospital.

According to a statement from LifePoint, the two cardiologists "independently elected to place cardiac stents that may not have been clinically appropriate." The two physicians are no longer practicing at any of LifePoint's affiliated hospitals.

After the self-disclosure was made, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of West Virginia began an investigation into Raleigh General Hospital, and that investigation is ongoing.

In December 2014, there were 13 individual lawsuits filed against LifePoint and/or Vaughan Regional Medical Center as well as Seydi V. Aksut, MD, according to the SEC filing. The lawsuits allege Vaughan Regional Medical Center patients underwent improper interventional cardiology procedures performed by Dr. Aksut.

Two putative class-action lawsuits have also been filed concerning the improper procedures. The first was filed Nov. 21, 2014, and the second was filed Feb. 6, and seeks "certification of a class of individuals that underwent an interventional cardiology procedure that was not medically necessary and performed by Dr. Aksut," according to the SEC filing.

Additional lawsuits regarding the improper procedures have been threatened, and lawsuits may also be filed by Raleigh General Hospital patients, according to the filing.

Regarding the litigation, LifePoint released a statement saying, "We value the trust and confidence our patients and communities place in our hospitals, and we regret any concern this matter may cause. We will continue working to resolve it as quickly as possible."

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

HCA: Arguments against health reform law are 'absurd'
Appeals court backs FTC, orders St. Luke's to unwind purchase of Saltzer Medical Group
Medtronic settles False Claims Act case over investigational medical procedures

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