15 suits filed over cardiac cath procedures at LifePoint facilities

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 - Gavel and stethoscope

LifePoint Hospitals reported that it may face fines and liability costs from investigations into improper interventional cardiology procedures at two of its hospitals.

In an annual report filed Feb. 12 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, LifePoint included a warning to stockholders that it and the Department of Justice (DoJ) were looking into practices by cardiologists at hospitals in Alabama and in West Virginia. It said that in September of 2013 LifePoint and Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma, Ala., and Raleigh General Hospital in Raleigh, W.Va., disclosed concerns with the DoJ about procedures performed by one physician each in their respective cardiac catheterization laboratories.  

“Following reviews by independent interventional cardiologists, we notified patients of these two physicians who may have received an unnecessary procedure of such fact,” according to the filing. “Our efforts to locate and notify a relatively small number of these patients are ongoing.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in West Virginia has subpoenaed the Raleigh hospital and LifePoint said it was cooperating with the government. In Alabama, 13 individual and two punitive class action lawsuits have been filed. LifePoint, the hospital and cardiologist Seydi V. Aksut, MD, are named as defendants in some of the lawsuits.

The potential costs from future claims, compensatory and punitive damages and fees “could be material,” it cautioned. “We cannot, however, reasonably estimate the potential liability, if any, in connection with any of these matters, and no liability has been recorded as of December 31, 2014.”

LifePoint is based in Brentwood, Tenn., and operates more than 60 hospitals in 21 states.