Dr. Jihad Mustapha is a vascular surgeon practicing at Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Centers in Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan.
While Dr. Mustapha considers himself a “Leg Saver,” a troubling contradiction appears in the wake of his reputation. He has shown a disconcerting pattern of unnecessary and risky vascular procedures, an alarming number of which have resulted in avoidable amputations. The tragic irony is that while purporting to save legs, Dr. Mustapha’s medical practices have been associated with life-altering surgical procedures, transforming him from a so-called “Leg Saver” to a possible culprit in causing avoidable physical trauma and emotional distress for numerous patients.
A Risky Series of Vascular Procedures Resulting in Increased Michigan Amputation Rates
Dr. Mustapha’s alleged series of questionable medical practices began with patients like Kelly Hanna. She was referred to him in the hopes of improving a festering wound on her left foot. Over the course of 18 months, Dr. Mustapha performed a series of artery-opening procedures on Hanna’s legs, promising that these would improve blood flow and prevent amputation.
However, Hanna, along with many other patients of Dr. Mustapha, found these promises unfulfilled. Surgeons at nearby hospitals were frequently seeing his patients for complications and subsequent amputations. This alarmingly high incidence of amputations among Dr. Mustapha’s patients led these doctors to file complaints with Michigan’s medical board.
The Rise of Vascular Medical Malpractice: Industry Backing and the Boom of Risky Procedures
Dr. Mustapha is not an obscure figure working on the fringes of the medical world. With the financial backing of powerhouse medical device manufacturers, such as Philips, Abbott, and Boston Scientific, he has become a prominent figure in an industry that has been profiting from dangerous procedures.
This industry targets individuals with peripheral artery disease, an affliction impacting nearly 12 million Americans. A decade’s worth of medical research, however, indicates that most of these patients experience mild or no symptoms and should not be subjected to the frequent procedures offered by practitioners like Dr. Mustapha. However, changes in Medicare reimbursement have fueled a boom in the vascular healthcare sector.
In the medical landscape of a decade ago, vascular clinics were virtually non-existent. The panorama, however, has experienced a dramatic shift in recent years, with over 800 of these specialized clinics now dotting the medical field. This rapid proliferation can be traced back to a significant change in Medicare policy in 2008.
Before this update, reimbursements for vascular procedures were relatively modest, providing little incentive for physicians. However, the revisions introduced in 2008 dramatically increased the reimbursement rates for such procedures. This move, while ostensibly designed to ensure a wider range of treatment options for patients, inadvertently set the stage for the explosive growth of vascular clinics. In essence, the modified reimbursement policy transformed these procedures into highly lucrative ventures, sparking a boom in the number of vascular facilities across the country.
How Are Doctors Like Dr. Mustapha Incentivized to Perform Unnecessary Vascular Procedures?
Due to incentives from Medicare and financial support from medical equipment companies, the rate of vascular procedures, particularly atherectomies, has skyrocketed. Alarmingly, patients who underwent these procedures are more likely to require amputations.
Half of the $1.4 billion in Medicare’s atherectomy payments from 2017 to 2021 went to a mere 200 providers, including Dr. Mustapha. These doctors often receive extra remuneration from the medical device industry, such as consulting fees or speaking payments. For example, Dr. David Allie of Louisiana received $2.8 million from drug and device manufacturers from 2013 to 2022.
Additionally, about 153 out of the 200 high-volume providers or their clinics took loans from medical device companies to purchase equipment. Companies like Philips even provide an option to minimize or erase loan payments if doctors commit to performing a certain number of procedures with their equipment, thereby increasing procedure rates.
It’s noteworthy to mention that some doctors receiving these loans have had troubling professional histories. For instance, Dr. Ralph Brookshire, a vascular surgeon in Texas, was found by the state medical board in 2016 to be misusing his medical license to self-prescribe opioids. Despite this, he was able to secure a loan from Philips to open his own outpatient clinic in the Rio Grande Valley in 2020.
These practices are not only alarming, but they also highlight a worrying trend in the medical field. As medical malpractice lawyers, it’s our duty to bring these unjust incentives to light and fight for your rights.
Obtain the Advocacy, Justice, and Compensation You Rightfully Deserve
The backbone of our legal team is composed of experienced medical malpractice trial attorneys, Rob Buchanan and Donna MacKenzie, who combined have over 50 years of experience in the complex field of medical malpractice.
Mr. Buchanan, a founding partner of the Buchanan Firm, has served as a trial attorney for over three decades, advocating relentlessly for patients who have been wronged in medical malpractice cases. Buchanan is the immediate past president of the State Bar of Michigan.
Ms. MacKenzie, a distinguished partner at Olsman MacKenzie Peacock & Wallace, has a reputation for being a fierce defender of justice. She was one of the leading attorneys who successfully battled against the now-imprisoned, notorious cancer doctor, Farid Fata, MD. Fata stood accused of cruelly administering and prescribing chemotherapy treatments to patients who were not actually suffering from cancer. Ms. MacKenzie, a tenacious advocate for justice, also served as the past president of the Michigan Association for Justice. With such extensive experience and demonstrated commitment to justice, she and Mr. Buchanan stand ready to ensure you get the maximum compensation and justice you deserve.
Do You Qualify to Participate in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Dr. Mustapha?
At Olsman MacKenzie Peacock & Wallace, we believe that justice must be served, especially when it comes to medical malpractice. If you or a loved one were patients of Dr. Mustapha and underwent an atherectomy that led to amputation, we want you to know that you are not alone and you have options.
Our experienced team of Michigan medical malpractice attorneys is ready to listen to your case, provide advice, and discuss possible next steps. Learn if you qualify to participate in a lawsuit against Dr. Mustapha – schedule a free consultation today. Medical malpractice should never be taken lightly, and we are here to ensure that your rights are protected.