One of the Cleveland Clinic's high-ranking cardiologists and a pioneer in the treatment of a specific electrical heart problem has been let go.But later in the article, the authors opine:
Dr. Andrea Natale has been medical director for the Clinic's two-year-old Center for Atrial Fibrillation, a top moneymaker for the hospital system. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that is the leading cause of stroke.
Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said the Clinic decided Friday not to renew his appointment, which expires Sunday. She declined to say why the Clinic is allowing Natale's contract to lapse, calling it a personnel matter, which is private.
In the past, he has done procedures outside of Ohio without the Clinic's permission, hospital sources said.But is this a reason to let someone go? Doubtful. Surely something else was afoot here, but just as surely, I doubt we'll discover what it was.
2 Oct 2007 - Natale responds on his website.
More from Cleveland's The Plain Dealer.
The termination of Natale likely had to do with the EP center's use of the Sensei robotic catheter navigation system, made by Hansen Medical. I believe Hansen paid Natale for his use of the system.
The system can only be used off-label for theropeutic operations, and has reports of perforations and tamponade. The CCF may have axed him for liability purposes, due to the Sensei's lack of safety.
What happened next:
Another possible reason for the termination of Dr. Natale was described in part of an account from a person on a message board who said he had an ablation by Dr. Natale on 6-26-07.
"I was surprised to find out that Dr. Natale used the Hansen system on me. I do not remember anyone asking me if they had my permission to use this new equipment on me, but maybe they do not have too."
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