Excela Health: Patients May Not Have Needed Stents

By Trina Orlando

GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Excela Health says 141-patients who received stents in 2010 didn’t medically need them.

The announcement comes after a self-initiated internal review conducted at the Westmoreland County hospital.

The CEO today apologized to those affected.

The unnecessary procedures were performed by Doctors Ehab Morcos and George Bou Samra over the last 12 months. The doctors are no longer practicing at the hospital and their names will be turned over to the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Excela has assigned a personal liaison to all affected patients and is urging them to make an appointment with one of the hospital’s cardiologists.

Letters were sent via overnight mail to patients. Those affected are expected to receive the letters today.

The hospital has established a number where people can call for more information: 1.800.237.6220.

If you or someone you know receives one of those letters and would like to share your experience with KDKA, please contact the news desk at (412) 575-2245.

  • RN

    This is why you should go downtown for cardiac care

    • A

      It could happen there also.

    • S.D.

      Dr. Bousamra worked at Mercy for years. He saved my mother’s life when she was life-flighted to Mercy after suffering a massive heart attack. There may be another side to this story.

  • Mindy

    If it wern’r for Dr Morcos my father wouldn’t be here today! At 53 years old his heart was totally failing. Dr. Morcos and his team literally saved my dads life and we as a family will stand behind him and his work. He is a wonderful doctor!

  • Catherine

    How much money did these two physicians and the hospital make doing these unnecessary procedures? Will they be reimbursing Medicare and the Insurance Companies the thousands of dollars they billed over the past 12 months? These doctors put their patients’ lives at risk by subjecting them to unnecessary procedures and exposing them to the possibility of hospital-acquired infections. They should be ashamed.

  • Ronlad Slavin

    Dr. Bousamra did my cath, found 20% blockage and recommed nothing but changing my diet and keeping an eye on it. I have 3 health Ins, if there was going to be fruad I would have been a prime victicm. You have to wounder, why No care Excla, after hiring 2 new Dr. Want all these people to go see them. Also the so called review board, only looked at Hospital records. Never talked with the people, never talked with the Dr. and never even checked the Med records from the Dr. Office. These so called experts made a judgment call based on 1/8th of the information. Excla now doing death boards. We do not have to worry about our government and there death boards we now have to worry about Corp American (Excla) doing there owen deah boards. Who you going to trust. A Dr. who knows your family Medical History, Talked with you, done all the test and with you came up with what is best for you. Or an out of state death board who make a call based upon 1/8th of the information. MeIi will trust my Dr. and not Excla’s Death Board.

    • A


  • dianne e. dudley

    i cannot say enough good things about Dr. Bousamra,and i am an employee of excela westmoreland.i arrived at excela westmoreland,in the midst of a heart attack,sent to the cath lab by the e.r. dr..Dr bousamra worked on me twice that evening because of formation of a blood clot.I believe i had the best doctor that God could send me that night,and i still feel that way

  • db

    Here comes the money leaches Pribanic and Pribanic is very concern about this. Why ohh i get it money. They have an in house doctor that will help

  • JB

    I’ll tell you what the whole problem here is, “the sharks smell the blood in the water”!!! These lawyers dont care about anything with the pt’s health but how much they can win from the MD’s liability insurance. The lawyers are dirty liberals which is why our conservative representatives in congress wanted to restricted the amount these lawyers can take from a surgeon and/or hospital, its called some protection for those who care for you and at times save your life!!! Get a life the surgeons did what they did in the pt’s best interest. Anyone who agrees with these blood-sucking attourneys ought to be ashamed with themselves!!!
    Another point is that this frivalous lawsuit is only hurting others…tie these MD’s up in court and falsely accuse them and they cant operate to save others so all I have to say is BE PROUD OF YOURSELVES LIBERALS!!!!!!!!!!

  • RS

    Agree with you there JB. Just woundering why KDKA has not checked with the so called review board guys and found out what information they based there opine on?. It is plan that they never talked with any of the people who had the stents done. Nor talked with the Dr’s. to see why they thought this was need it. What could these so called experts be basing there so called expert opine on?. Should you not do a total investagtion before you make a Medical Opine?. What kind of Dr makes a opine based upon one record. and the hospital record at that.
    If you are going to make a informed opine, You better have the total facts, test results and all records invovled. These so called experts did none of that. Sure hate to go see these so called experts who make medical opine based on so little information. Guess that why they are on a out of state review boards and not working on people who need Heart Dr.

  • Previous Excela Employee - RN

    I hope Westmoreland hospital apologizes to the Cardiologist at Latrobe hospital. The cardiologist at Latrobe hospital brought this to attention several years ago, but they became the “bad guys” for sending their patients to Pittsburgh. The Latrobe cardiologist were unhappy with their patients receiving stents that were not medically needed, and the poor communication with these physicians. So I wonder who’s pocket got lined from all these stents? I’m sure this contributed to the millions in profit for 2010. Unfortunately for these physicians, this story is just a CYA for Excela, and these physicians have taken the heat. Excela is just as responsible for not investigating sooner. They waited, got their money, and now they turned their back on some good physicians. Of course, this is just my opinion.

  • Talton

    My husband has been a patient of Dr. Bou Samra since his heart attack almost 2 years ago. He placed a stent in one artery during a heart attack and told him that another was 20-30% blocked. He has never once suggested a stent for that artery. Great doctor who cares for his patients. He has our complete confidence.

  • Jeanie

    I have been a patient of Dr Bousamra for five years now and have been pleased with the treatment he has given me for Afib but have lost confidence and have become distrustful.

  • db

    Here comes Edgar Snyder and associates. They are very concerned like Pribanic and Pribanic about the patients welfare. and you wonder why there is insurance problems out there. Money Money Money. I guess they sleep good at night knowing the shafted someone.

  • gogomed

    It is highly suspecl when a for(huge)profit hospital throws two of it’s biggest producers($) under the bus. What is going on here? CEO’s usually encourage overutilization and unnecessary procedures. Good for the bottom line, you know. This CEO is not apologizing to patients out of the goodness of his heart.

  • Gerald N. Rogan, MD

    Audits for medical necessity through the peer review process could have detected these unnecessary proceuures early, educated the docs, and saved all a lot of grief and embarassment, a lot of money, and, of course, helped the patients. Why would a patient use a hospital whose medical staff does not provide and act upon peer review? Unnecessary stents occurred at St. Joseph Hospital, Towson Maryland, and unnecessary coronary bypass surgery at Redding Medical Center, Redding CA on over 500 patients at each hospital over several years. The culpable physicians adminsitered their own peer review.

    Questions patients should ask?
    Is peer review done at my hospital?
    Is it effective?
    Who oversees it?
    Who audits it for effectiveness?
    What action is taken when unnecessary care is discovered?

    The absense of effective peer review is like flying in an airplance with a broken gas gauge.

    How much longer are patients going to accept ineffective peer review? We have a national scandle here and a huge development need. The abence of effective peer review is one of the causes of unaffordable health care.

  • brian Lounigan

    I have not had an encounter with Dr. Dr. Bousamra but Dr. Morcos was my mother’s cardiologist and she had to find someone else as she deteriorated under his care

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