Federal ORI charges cardiologist with misconduct

The federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) ruled that an Illinois cardiologist engaged in misconduct by bullying fellows and asking attending physicians to falsify information in research records.

The ORI and Advocate Health Care charged that Parag Patel, DO, a cardiologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, in Park Ridge, Ill., coerced fellows and attending physicians to assess or reassess left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) scores as 35 or less in order to include patients into a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The Vest Prevention of Early Sudden Death Trial (VEST) is recruiting participants to test whether the use of wearable defibrillators affects mortality by reducing sudden death during the first three months after an MI in patients at high risk for arrhythmias. To be eligible, participants must have an LVEF of 35 or less.

Under a voluntary settlement agreement, Patel has agreed to a two-year period of supervision when engaged in federally sponsored research and other restrictions. The agreement is not an admission of misconduct or liability, according to the ORI.