In the city of London Kentucky a cardiologist has admitted guilt of lying to patients with heart conditions in order to make money by then performing unneeded, dangerous procedures.
Doctor Sandesh R. Patil, age 51, told the court yesterday that he deliberately deceived hundreds of patients by convincing them their coronary arteries were seriously blocked and required immediate “stent” placement. Stents are miniature metal tubes surgically inserted into a patient’s arteries in order to improve blood flow.
Investigators determined that Patil performed hundreds of fraudulent operations at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London. The hospital itself has already repaid the federal government more than $256,000 for their part in the stent procedure billing that Patil illegally submitted for a two-year period beginning in 2009.
As a result of this physician’s deplorable behavior, nearly 400 patients are suing Saint Joseph Hospital for what they charge were thousands of unnecessary heart procedures, such as angioplasty and pacemaker placement.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid report that the hospital failed to review more than 3,000 heart procedures to determine whether they were necessary.
One patient suffered more than 20 surgeries in 20 years.
According to the investigation, at least two patients died as a result of the surgeries. Hundreds of others now must take dangerous medications for the rest of their lives.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Lexington Kentucky is leading the investigation.
Patil MD is also the subject of another federal investigation for healthcare fraud.
Prosecutors report that Patil is the third cardiologist in the U.S. to be federally prosecuted for fraudulent heart stent operations.