April 10, 2012, ERIE, PA — As Pennsylvania medical negligence lawyers, it is not uncommon for us to see cases where people believe they were wrongfully told a surgical procedure was necessary when, in fact, it was not. As they say, to a hammer the whole world looks like a nail. Likewise, you go to a surgeon, he tends to think the problem can be fixed with surgery. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the surgeon makes more money by doing more procedures.
Nevertheless, a recent article in the Erie Times News reports accusations of wrongful surgical procedures that surprise even jaded Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers. According to a former Erie cardiologist, a group of Erie heart doctors fraudulently performed unnecessary medical procedures at Hamot Hospital in Erie in order to make more money for themselves and Hamot (now UPMC-Hamot).
Unnecessary surgical procedures are, at their best, a terrible betrayal of a patient’s trust. Even if there is no adverse outcome, a patient and their family are subjected to needless risk and worry, lost time from work and inconvenience; medical costs are incurred; and the cost of health care generally is inflated. Worse, of course, is when the risk is realized: According to Dr. Tullio Emanuele, two patients died as a result of a wrongful heart catheterization and an unnecessary heart bypass surgery at Hamot Hospital in Erie.
The accusations have been made in a federal False Claims Act lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The defendants in the suit include Medicor Associates; Flagship Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery of Erie; and Hamot, now known as UPMC-Hamot. The defendants have denied the charges and the suit is still in its early stages so neither side has yet had an opportunity to challenge the veracity of the other’s position.
Contact an Erie Medical Mistake Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a medical mistake such as an unnecessary surgical procedure, you should contact an experienced Erie medical malpractice lawyer . The Erie hospital error attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have experience in the investigation, preparation and trial of complicated medical cases and want to help. Call today for a free evaluation of your case at 814-273-2010 or toll free at 814-273-2010 or use our on-line consult form .