Following the news report we are initiating a review of the pneumoconiosis B-reader service. Until the review is completed, we are suspending the program.
Providing the absolute best, most accurate and comprehensive patient care is our mission at Johns Hopkins Medicine. We take very seriously the questions raised in a recent ABC News report about our second opinions for pneumoconiosis including black lung disease, and we are carefully reviewing the news story and our pneumoconiosis service.
The Johns Hopkins Department of Radiology and Radiological Science has provided National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) B-reads – or second opinions – on coal miners and industrial workers for 40 years. To our knowledge, no medical or regulatory authority has ever challenged or called into question any of our diagnoses, conclusions or reports resulting from the pneumoconiosis service.
There are no financial incentives associated with this program for our B-readers or the radiology department. There are no bonuses or other salary supplements paid to doctors related to the volume of examinations read, expert testimony, or other aspects of the pneumoconiosis service at Johns Hopkins.
The Johns Hopkins radiology department and the pneumoconiosis service have received no donations from any of the 25 law firms or coal companies ABC inquired about in an email on Sept. 6, 2013.
Paul Wheeler, M.D., has consistently retrained, retested and recertified with NIOSH as a B-reader, most recently in April 2013.