A report released by a Senate committee details the relationship between Abbott Labs ($ABT) and Dr. Mark Midei, a cardiologist accused of implanting unnecessary Xience stents in patients. The Senate began its investigation after Midei's actions raised red flags with Medicare, which paid $3.8 million of the $6.6 million charged for those procedures, according to the New York Times.
Midei was practicing at Maryland's St. Joseph Medical Center, where he implanted up to 585 stents that may have been medically unnecessary. Some patients were told they had severely clogged arteries that would require treatment with a stent; in fact, many patients' blockages weren't as serious as they were led to believe. The medical center dismissed Midei in May 2009, at which point Abbott hired him as a sales consultant. "The serious allegations lodged against Dr. Midei regarding the medically unnecessary implantation of cardiac stents did not appear to deter Abbott's interest in assisting him," the Senate reported. Abbott said the company ended its relationship with Midei earlier this year.
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