Justice Department Queries Local Hospitals on Improper Defribrillator Surgeries

By: Leana Shishakova

The majority of the hospitals in Southeast Michigan have received emails from the U.S. Department of Justice that asks the hospital to examine all implantable defibrillator surgeries performed on Medicare patients.

Officials from Beaumont Health System and Detroit Medical Center, which is owned by for-profit Vanguard Health Systems, have acknowledged receiving the Justice Department inquiries.

The implantable defibrillators, which cost $40,000 each, regulate heart rhythms. Lawyers at the Justice Department have dealt with hundreds of unnecessary surgical cases related to the devices and have been seeking monetary damages, which allows for treble damages under the False Claims Act.