A Lafayette, La., hospital has agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle its part in a class-action settlement accusing a cardiologist of doing unnecessary angiograms, angioplasties and stenting.
Half of the money will be shared by 305 former patients, and the rest will pay litigation costs, administrative expenses and attorneys' fees in the suit against 253-bed Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.
Attorney James Ryan said attorneys are still seeking damages from the cardiologist, Mehmood Patel, and from 294-bed Lafayette General Medical Center, where he also practiced.
The settlement, which will mean an average of $12,000 for the patients, is the second for the hospital. Last year, it agreed to pay the U.S. Justice Department $3.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it failed to act on complaints by one of Patels associates.
State District Judge Byron Hebert approved the latest settlement this week.
U.S. District Judge Tucker Melancon has set a meeting next month to discuss when to schedule a federal trial on health fraud charges against Patel; he is accused of billing Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies $2.5 million for unnecessary procedures on more than 70 patients. Prosecutors allege some of those operations resulted in complications and serious injuries.
Patel could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. -- by the Associated Press