LifePoint Hospitals is the target of federal investigations, more than a dozen individual lawsuits and two class action suits alleging the performance of improper interventional heart procedures, the Tennessee-based hospital chain revealed Thursday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
LifePoint, through an internal review, identified two cardiologists who "independently elected to place cardiac stents that may not have been clinically appropriate," according to a LifePoint statement released Thursday.
LifePoint then self-reported the matter to the Department of Justice. The two doctors are no longer practicing at any of LifePoint's affiliated hospitals, according to the LifePoint statement.
LifePoint is notifying all patients who may have been affected and offering them follow-up meetings with doctors of their choice. The government's investigations are ongoing, according to the filing.
"We value the trust and confidence our patients and communities place in our hospitals, and we regret any concern this matter may cause," according to the statement. "We will continue working to resolve it as quickly as possible."
The 13 individual lawsuits were filed in December in state court against LifePoint, and/or its Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma, Ala., several of LifePoint's subsidiaries and Dr. Seydi V. Aksut, according to the SEC filing.
Attempts to reach Vaughan and Aksut were unsuccessful Thursday afternoon.
One of the class action lawsuits, filed Nov. 21, seeks to cover all Alabama citizens who underwent an invasive cardiology procedure at any LifePoint-owned hospital in the state and who received notice about the medical necessity of that procedure, according to the filing.
The other class action suit, filed Feb. 6, seeks to cover people who underwent an interventional heart procedure performed by Aksut that was allegedly not medically necessary. If successful, that suit could mean triple damages for any injury resulting from violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The lawsuits were all filed in the Circuit Court of Dallas County, Ala. Other parties not affiliated with LifePoint were also named in the individual lawsuits, but the SEC filing did not name them.
LifePoint subsidiaries own and operate more than 60 hospitals in 21 states. LifePoint is the fifth largest for-profit hospital chain in the country.
Follow Lisa Schencker on Twitter: @lschencker