Lafayette General eager to do away with case

Lafayette General Medical Center will pay $1.8 million to settle 100 civil medical malpractice cases filed against cardiologist Dr. Mehmood Patel, the hospital announced.

Patel faces federal medical fraud charges related to cardiac procedures he performed at patients at both Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes. His trial is assigned for August.

This is the second settlement made by Lafayette General hospital related to accusations made against Patel. In January, Lafayette General settled for $1.9 million with the Department of Justice for the unnecessary procedures, which were billed to federal and state health plans.

And last year, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center settled a class action lawsuit made by patients for $7.4 million.

In 2006, Lourdes settled with the government for $3.8 million. Patel was indicted in 2006 on more than 90 counts of medical fraud for performing medically unnecessary cardiac procedures ranging from angioplasties to stent procedures.

Patrick Gandy, interim president and CEO of Lafayette General released a statement Friday: "We feel this settlement of $1.8 million is a fair way to conclude the litigation involving patients treated by Dr. Patel at Lafayette General Medical Center.

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