News Release

For-Profit Hospital Chain Pushed Unnecessary Heart Operations

Today’s New York Times features a front-page piece titled Hospital Chain Inquiry Cited Unnecessary Cardiac Work.

HOWARD WAITZKIN, M.D., waitzkin at unm.edu
Waitzkin is distinguished professor emeritus of clinical medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He said today: “Such unnecessary, dangerous, and costly procedures reflect an inherent tendency in for-profit medical systems to enhance profits and to exploit vulnerable patients by doing many more procedures than actually are needed.”

Waitzkin is the author of the new book “Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire,” which includes a discussion of such practices in cardiology.

EVAN WEISMAN, M.D., evanweisman59 at gmail.com,
Weisman is a retired cardiologist who lives in the greater Atlanta area. He said today: “These practices are more likely to occur in small isolated communities where there is less peer review and transparency than in larger metropolitan regions where there is more competition.

“If there is no agency protecting the patient in such hospitals, let the buyer (or in this case, the patient) beware. I would never allow this kind of procedure to be performed o