St. Peter's oncologist was removed for harming patients, CEO says

Helena, Mont.-based St. Peter's Health removed longtime oncologist Tom Weiner, MD, after learning that the physician had been harming patients for years, CEO Wade Johnson wrote in a letter to the Independent Record.

The health system said Dr. Weiner caused harm via clinically unnecessary treatments, failure to meet narcotic prescription laws, failure to refer patients to other specialists for appropriate treatments, and failure to meet clinical documentation requirements, according to Mr. Johnson's letter.

"After extensive review of these concerns and consultation with medical and legal experts, we expect authorities will investigate these concerns and we will cooperate fully," Mr. Johnson wrote. "We understand many people have been frustrated by the lack of information about Dr. Weiner's departure. Please know that he was swiftly and decisively removed from patient care as soon as there was proof that patients were harmed."

Dr. Weiner declined to comment on the allegations, reports the Independent Record. The oncologist, who worked for St. Peter's for nearly 25 years, said he plans to sue the hospital.

A class-action lawsuit was filed Nov. 13 against St. Peter's Health, alleging that the hospital failed to fulfill its duty to its patients as a result of Dr. Weiner's dismissal. Hospital officials filed a motion Dec. 8 to dismiss the class-action lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Weiner's patients weren't consulted before his unexplained absence in late October, resulting in gaps in care. Mr. Johnson said the hospital will respond to that class-action suit "sometime in the next 10 days."

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