Snyder said Wednesday that he has "no information that [Midei] is… the subject of any criminal investigation" similar to the case against McLean. Other attorneys representing the cardiologist in civil claims have acknowledged in legal filings that there is a "potential that Dr. Midei could be exposed to criminal liability."
State regulators said they investigated the allegations against McLean years ago, but thought it was an "isolated case."
"Was there a review at that time as to how we could prevent this in the future? The answer is no," said David Paulson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
"There was no indication that this kind of issue involving stents was either widely practiced or widely abused when this one isolated case popped up on the Eastern Shore," he said.
The allegations against Midei raised more red flags.
In response to articles in The Baltimore Sun, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee began an investigation earlier this year, as did Maryland Del. Peter A. Hammen, who urged the formation of a state team to review patient safety measures.
"It appears that the system of checks and balances that is in place to catch such actions failed," Hammen wrote in a letter to state health officials.
Already, the state group has discovered patterns that suggest other cardiologists should be investigated. It is expected to report on its findings later this month.
"It will be comprehensive and probably, in all likelihood, recommend some changes in law and some changes in procedures at the state level in order to be able to monitor this kind of activity," Paulson said.
Snyder draws distinctions between the two cases, however, pointing out that McLean was in private practice and Midei worked for a hospital. McLean is alleged to have shredded subpoenaed documents, while Midei has been cooperative. And Medicare fraud has been alleged against McLean, not Midei.
"What is relevant to Dr. McLean is not relevant to Dr. Midei," Snyder said. "These are two separate and distinct factual scenarios."
firstname.lastname@example.org Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts