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Providers to pay $4M in lawsuit alleging inappropriate heart procedures

Detroit Free Press, July 11, 2013

A cardiology practice and a Jackson hospital have agreed to pay the federal government $4 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed patients were subjected to medically inappropriate heart procedures. It was a doctor who blew the whistle on the questionable practices, the government said. The whistle-blower was cardiologist Julie Kovach, who sued Jackson Cardiology Associates, its owner and Allegiance Health in Jackson in U.S. District Court over catheterizations. Specifically, Jackson Cardiology Associates owner, cardiologist Jashu Patel, ordered catheterizations for patients based on findings from nuclear stress tests that he improperly read as positive. The government found 75% of those patients had no significant heart blockages.