Cardiologist agrees to $5.8M settlement for implanting dozens of unnecessary stents

A seven-years long whistleblower lawsuit against Kansas cardiologist Joseph Galichia ended May 30 with a $5.8 million settlement, the Wichita Eagle reported.

This is the first time the suit has been publicly accessible, according to the Eagle, having remained sealed since a former employee of Galichia’s initially filed it in July of 2012. The suit—Galichia’s third False Claims Act lawsuit in two decades—alleges the physician implanted dozens of “medically unnecessary and unreasonable” heart stents in at least 14 patients between 2008 and 2014.

One of those patients had as many as 35 cardiac stents implanted, while three others reported having between 20 and 30 procedures each.

Galichia was accused of “knowingly and in reckless disregard of the truth” filing fraudulent claims to Medicare, the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program to cover these stent procedures, receiving between $10,000 and $11,000 in reimbursement for each stent.

In a statement Thursday, Galichia denied the allegations and said he only agreed to settle because the lawsuit was costly and draining. He’s already paid $1 million of the settlement and is expected to make payments through 2026.

Read the full report below: