Madigan files suit against medical imaging company

Jessica M. Karmasek Jun. 24, 2011, 9:48am

Lisa Madigan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Thursday against Heart Check America over its sales of body scans.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Madigan's office is accusing the owner and manager of the company of pressuring patients into buying long-term medical imaging contracts using its Electron Beam Tomography machines.

The attorney general, in her complaint, says owner Sheila Haddad and her manager son David used "unfair and deceptive business practices" to make thousands of customers think that they needed the body scans.

Ten-year screening contracts cost upwards of $7,000, the Tribune reported, plus additional fees.

The following is a list of problems the Attorney General's Office found with the company's sales:

- Multiple scans may not be medically appropriate;

- Sales were based on a false premise that early detection of disease always leads to better outcomes;

- Those selling the scans were not medically trained;

- No physician evaluated patients before they received the scans;

- Consumers were not informed of the risks; and

- Some test results were inaccurate.

According to its website, Heart Check America, founded in 1992, is a privately-held group of medical imaging centers specializing in the field known as preventive imaging.

"In essence, we're in the business of trying to save lives through the early diagnosis of disease," the company says.

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