Another Maryland Doc Charged With Overstenting

Reed Miller

December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011 (Baltimore, Maryland) — A malpractice lawyer is accusing Dr John Chung-Yee Wang (Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD), a member of the committee tasked with stopping improper stenting in Maryland, of improper stenting in his own practice [1].

The Baltimore Sun reports that medical malpractice attorney Jay Miller has filed complaints with the state health claims arbitration office against Wang. Miller alleges that Wang, Dr Mark Midei, and Dr Kourosh Mastali wrongfully stented patient John Bowers in 2005 and 2006, when the three interventionalists were partners in MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates, a practice that has since disbanded. Miller also charges that Wang overstated the extent of coronary disease in patient Lorie Skillman to justify implanting a stent.

As reported by heartwire,the Maryland Medical Board revoked Midei's medical license after it determined he repeatedly violated the Medical Practice Act by implanting hundreds of unneeded stents while working at St Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD. Midei is one of several high-profile cases of alleged overstenting in recent years.

Wang is part of the Technical Advisory Group on Oversight of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Services, a group of experts tasked by the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) to develop recommendations for legislative changes that would improve oversight of coronary intervention labs in the state. The committee is set to report its findings at a public meeting of the health commission today. "The allegations could cast a shadow over the work of the advisory committee," the Sun reports. Wang was nominated for the committee by the Maryland chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Among the group's recommendations is a new law requiring that all hospitals that provide PCI services undergo continuing evaluation of its performance based on established standards. They also recommend that cath labs be subject to periodic peer review. These suggestions are consistent with the changes advocated by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in its so-far unsuccessful effort to convince Maryland's legislature to require national accreditation of all cath labs in the state, , but the committee did not propose that state law regulate physician reviews in hospitals, as SCAI and other advocates of greater cath-lab oversight are calling for.

In a letter to the MHCC, SCAI and the Maryland chapter of the ACC criticize the committee's recommendations for not going far enough [2]. "The draft recommendation to expand MHCC 'oversight' to CABG facilities is excessively vague. It is unclear what authority this would give the MHCC... Voluntary oversight provides no guarantee that all citizens in Maryland are afforded equal, high-quality healthcare... Over time, the risk is that the foundation of peer review weakens. Good hospitals have nothing to hide or fear (bad ones do)."