Last updated: October 14. 2013 8:41PM - 3421 Views
By - tallen@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

According to the Bloomburg News, King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) of Ashland, Ky., has been under investigation by the United State Department of Justice for some time over coronary stenting.

In the Bloomburg article (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-07/needless-stents-alleged-at-kentucky-hospital-amid-2-year-probe.html) titled, ‘Needless Stents Alleged at Kentucky Hospital Amid 2-Year Probe’, describes the investigation as involving, “stents inserted by cardiologist Richard E. Paulus.

The investigation signals a new front in a series of Department of Justice probes into interventional cardiology and stenting that began surfacing in 2006. At least 11 hospitals have settled federal allegations that they billed public health programs for needless stents and related misdeeds. Federal investigations continue in five states.”

The article also states, “Ashland ranked fourth out of 1,768 U.S. regions in the number of stent-related procedures per 1,000 Medicare enrollees in 2010, according to an analysis by researchers affiliated with Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. King’s Daughters has the only cardiac-stenting facility in the town of 22,000 residents.

At its 2011 peak, King’s Daughters did 28 percent more stent-related procedures than any other hospital in Kentucky, including the major metropolitan medical centers in Louisville and Lexington, state data show.”

According to, Dr. Phil Fioret, Chief Medical Officer of KDMC, the organization has devoted much of its financial resources to this investigation.

“KDMC has been transparent in its communications with its patients, its medical staff and the community about the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into cardiac stent procedures performed by physicians at KDMC. We take this matter very seriously and since 2011, much of KDMC’s financial resources have gone to its efforts to cooperate with the government’s investigation.”

The article also states that KDMC and Paulus were named in a civil lawsuit, on Sept. 30, “alleging that the cardiologist ‘dramatically’ misrepresented the extent of a patient’s heart disease to justify implanting five unneeded stents.”

“While the government’s review is continuing, it is not surprising that civil lawsuits would be filed related to these same issues. As with any investigation and litigation matters, KDMC cannot comment on the specifics of any of these matters no matter how much we would like to,” Fioret said. “KDMC is here for patient care and service to the community. We are working hard to keep focused on this fact while the legal issues are being addressed. The safety of our patients and the provision of exceptional care to our community will always be our first priorities.”

Fioret said KDMC is working with the Accreditation of Cardiac Excellence (ACE) to oversight of the cardiac services.

“As a physician, I am confident in the cardiology services that our hospital continues to provide and I believe KDMC has taken every necessary measure to ensure outstanding quality patient care.”

The Bloomberg article also stated, “On Aug. 30, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded $240 million of the hospital’s debt, citing, among other factors, a 45.5 percent drop in cardiac catheterization procedures in its 2013 fiscal year.”

For more information about King’s Daughters Medical Center visit, www.kdmc.com.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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