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Hospital Employee Fakes Mammogram Results

May 17, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging, Practice Management
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Some 900 women have begun returning to a hospital in Perry, Georgia, for follow-up mammograms after the hospital disclosed last week that a radiology employee had been processing mammography results herself, without a reading by a radiologist.

During 2009 and the first three months of 2010, the now-fired employee apparently logged on to the hospital’s database using the identity of a radiologist and issued reports of “no negative findings” for some mammography patients. In those cases, no actual radiologist ever saw the test results.

Houston Healthcare, owner of Perry Hospital, issued a press release last week saying the hospital had found a discrepancy during an April 2 quality check of mammography tests. That triggered a review. “It was discovered that a radiology employee had processed a number of mammography tests done in 2009 and early 2010 without obtaining a reading of the tests by a Radiologist,” the release said.

Houston Healthcare offered a new, free mammogram to every woman who had received a mammogram at Perry Hospital from the beginning of 2009 until the hospital discovered the fraud. The 45-bed acute-care hospital is in central Georgia; Perry is about 25 miles south of Macon in Houston County.

Victor Moldovan, an Atlanta-based attorney for Houston Healthcare, told The Warner Robins Patriot newspaper that the hospital believes only a small number of patients were affected. “But we didn’t want to guess,” he said. “So we contacted 900 people to be sure they were all double-checked.”

The hospital waited until it had contacted almost all of the women before revealing the problem publicly. “We felt the right thing to do was to first reach out and call all the patients,” Moldovan said.

Some of the patients whom the hospital contacted for retesting told WMAZ, a TV station in Macon, that they had received vague or even misleading answers when they asked hospital personnel why they needed to get another mammogram. They said they were startled and, in some cases, felt deceived when the news broke that an employee had mishandled their original test results.

Moldovan, the Houston Healthcare attorney, said hospital employees were told to tell patients “that the hospital discovered a problem that may have affected the reliability of the mammogram study and that they should schedule another mammogram. If the patients were told anything else, then it was not authorized by the hospital.”

Moldovan declined to discuss why the employee acted as she did. He added:

She offered explanations. But in her own mind, I don’t know what she was thinking.

The hospital has now turned information about the case over to the Perry Police Department. The department said its investigation could take several weeks.

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One Response to “Hospital Employee Fakes Mammogram Results”

  1. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » GA Mammogram Case Drags On; 4 Suits Filed on November 16th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    […] Back in May 2010, Perry Hospital in Perry, Georgia, said a radiology employee had logged on to the hospital’s computer system and issued negative findings for hundreds of mammograms under the name of a radiologist—without a radiologist having seen the scans. […]