Pro Publica, June 24, 2011
The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the owner and manager of Heart Check America, a medical imaging company, of pressuring patients into purchasing pricey body scans that many did not need. Last month, ProPublica published an investigation of Heart Check America, describing its marketing and sales techniques. In our story, medical experts called the company's tactics unethical and said its scans were inappropriate for many patients, exposing them to unnecessary expense and treatment. Health regulators in Colorado and Nevada have cited the company for performing medical scans without doctors' orders. Now Illinois officials say Sheila Haddad and her son, David Haddad, the owner and manager of the company, used "unfair and deceptive business practices" to manipulate consumers, possibly numbering in the thousands, into 10-year screening contracts costing up to $7,000, plus additional annual dues.