Thursday, October 01, 2015

Johns Hopkins terminates controversial black lung program that was subject of investigative reporting

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions announced on Wednesday that it has discontinued its black lung program, Jamie Smith Hopkins reports for The Center for Public Integrity. Johns Hopkins was at the heart of a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation that discovered that Dr. Paul S. Wheeler, the head of the unit at Johns Hopkins who interprets X-rays in black-lung claims, failed to find a single case of severe black lung in more than 1,500 cases decided since 2000 in which he offered an opinion. Chris Hamby, who broke the story in a report for The Center for Public Integrity, won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Johns Hopkins suspended the program in 2013 after the initial story broke, Smith Hopkins writes. Jania Matthews, a Johns Hopkins Medicine spokeswoman, said in an email, “The program has been suspended since November 1, 2013 and, following a thorough review, will not be resumed." Matthews failed to respond to requests for more information.

Wheeler has since retired, Hopkins Smith writes. "Last year, the Department of Labor told approximately 1,100 coal miners that their black lung benefit claims may have been wrongly denied as a result of Wheeler’s readings of their X rays." (Read more)

No comments: