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Western Pa. hospital repays feds for artery stents

A western Pennsylvania hospital has repaid Medicare nearly $2 million for surgically implanting artery-opening mesh stents that may not have been medically necessary.

Officials at Excela Health and the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh announced the payment by its Greensburg hospital on Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the payment and had reported in 2011 that the hospital determined 192 heart patients may have received stents that weren't medically necessary since 2009. The stents may have been used when arteries weren't blocked enough to require it.

Class-action lawsuits are pending against the hospital and two heart doctors who resigned their hospital privileges over the issue. The doctors, in turn, have sued Excela Health and other related parties for defamation.

The hospital, formerly known as Westmoreland Hospital, is about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.

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