Calif. Surgeon's License Suspended After Probe

REDDING, Calif. (AP) - A state judge has suspended a Redding heart surgeon's license for performing unnecessary surgeries six years ago.

Administrative Law Judge Stephen Smith says Kent Brusett performed at least five unnecessary coronary bypasses while at Redding Medical Center.

Brusett, 49, can't practice medicine for 120 days and he will be monitored by another physician for the next eight years. He performs surgeries at Shasta Regional Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center.

Brusett was one of three doctors caught up in a 2002 FBI investigation that found that doctors performed unnecessary procedures to boost Redding Medical Center's bottom line.

The doctors, the hospital's parent company and their insurers have paid out nearly a half-billion dollars in civil settlements. No criminal charges were ever filed.

Brusett's office referred calls to his attorney, Robert Zaro. Zaro did not immediately respond to a call Friday by The Associated Press.
Information from: Record Searchlight,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-15-08 1403EDT

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