|Dr. Andrew Rudin, who was part of St. Joseph's cardiology department, has been accused in a federal indictment of being the supervising physician at a medical group in Tennessee that improperly prescribed opioids and other drugs.|
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – St. Joseph’s Health is reviewing the vetting process it used to hire a doctor arrested last week who had previously been cited for providing poor care in another state.
Dr. Andrew S. Rudin, a cardiologist, was charged last week in a national roundup of medical professionals accused of illegally distributing prescription pain pills.
Drug Enforcement Agents escorted Rudin out of St. Joe’s Wednesday, less than three months after the hospital publicly welcomed him to its staff in a news release touting Rudin’s expertise in treating atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart beat.
Tennessee health department records show Rudin voluntarily gave up his clinical privileges at a hospital after being cited for “substandard or inadequate care.” The records say Rudin voluntarily surrendered his privileges at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Tennessee to avoid an investigation “relating to professional competence or conduct.”
A federal judge issued a default judgment of $1.6 million against Rudin in 2012 to settle a malpractice lawsuit by a patient operated on in 2010 at Jackson-Madison Hospital. Rudin performed an “ablation” procedure on the patient, Joe D. Williams, to stop atrial fibrillation, according to court records.
Ablation involves threading narrow tubes into the heart to burn heart tissue to stop abnormal electrical signals from causing atrial fibrillation.
Sandra Williams, the patient’s wife, testified Rudin burned a hole through her husband’s esophagus during the procedure that nearly killed him and left him disabled. She said Rudin never responded to the lawsuit or paid the judgment. Neither Rudin nor his attorney could be reached for comment.
When The Post-Standard/Syracuse.com asked St. Joe’s if it was aware of the malpractice case and Rudin’s surrender of his hospital privileges in Tennessee, the hospital said, “The circumstances surrounding Dr. Rudin’s credentialing at St. Joseph’s Hospital are presently under review.”
St. Joe’s initially put Rudin on administrative leave, but said today it fired him after reviewing the criminal allegations.
Federal prosecutors accused Rudin, another doctor and a nurse practitioner of participating in a scheme to improperly prescribe opioids and other drugs in Jackson, Tennessee. Rudin pleaded not guilty last week in federal court.
“ … the criminal matter involving Dr. Rudin is not connected to St. Joseph’s Health in any way but to activities connected to his practice in Tennessee more than two years prior to his affiliation to St. Joseph’s Health,” Dr. Joseph Spinale, St. Joe’s chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement.
From August 2016 to January 2017 Rudin supervised a nurse practitioner in Tennessee who prescribed drugs to patients who didn’t need them in exchange for money, notoriety and sexual favors, according to the indictment.
Jeffrey W. Young, the nurse practitioner, once branded himself as “Rock Doc” as part of an effort to start a reality TV show. Rudin gave Young’s practice the appearance of legitimacy by allowing his name to appear on Young’s prescriptions and was paid for supervising the practice, the indictment says. The indictment does not say how much Rudin was paid.
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Syracuse doc arrested at hospital was cited for poor care in another state