BECKLEY – A settlement agreement has been reached in the more than 80 lawsuits alleging unnecessary cardiac procedures occurred at Raleigh General Hospital.
The lawsuits were filed against Raleigh General, Lifepoint Hospitals and Dr. Donald Kenneth Glaser after it came to light that Glaser had been performing unnecessary procedures. At that point, Glaser had already left the hospital.
In a February filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange commission, Lifepoint stated that the plaintiffs in the 82 individual lawsuits had entered into settlement agreements settling all claims against the company, Raleigh General and Glaser.
“These settlements were accomplished within the amounts previously accrued for loss contingencies for cardiology-related lawsuits,” the filing states.
Details of the settlement agreement have not been made public.
Ben Salango of Preston & Salango, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs said the cases had been resolved, but that he was not permitted to make further comment.
In 2008, Raleigh General performed 107 cardiac procedures. In 2009, the hospital performed 350 cardiac procedures, an increase of more than 300 percent.
In 2010, during Glaser's first full year as the director of Raleigh General's interventional cardiology unit, the number of cardiac procedures rose to 1,745. In 2011, the hospital performed approximately 1,700 cardiac procedures and in 2012, performed 2,109 cardiac procedures.
In 2013, Glaser's tenure at Raleigh General ended and he worked in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 2013 until November 2013 and then moved to Waldorf, Md., where he stayed for approximately one year.
In October 2014, Glaser applied for employment with the Beckley VA Medical Center to work as a cardiologist and when the medical center contacted Beckley General to investigate Glaser's credentials and background, Beckley General did not inform the medical center that Glaser was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Beckley VA Medical Center offered Glaser an offer of employment in January 2015 and on Feb. 13, 2015, just days after news agencies reported that Glaser was under investigation, Glaser rescinded his acceptance of the offer of employment by the medical center.
The 82 lawsuits alleged that the hospital’s officials knew about Glaser’s misconduct for years before informing patients that they might have had unnecessary cardiac procedures that her had performed.
The suits alleged that Lifepoint, Raleigh General and Glaser had organized a scheme to generate revenue by having the patients undergo the unnecessary cardiac procedures.
In 2010, nursing staff had complained to hospital officials that Glaser had been sleeping in patient rooms and performing surgery 18 to 21 hours per day, however, nothing was done at that time.