Cardiology Practice Settles Lawsuit

Knoxville (WVLT) - One of the largest cardiology practices in the United States, based out of Knoxville, has has settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

East Tennessee Heart Consultants has agreed to reimburse federal and state governments for more than a million dollars in excess payments it allegedly received for medical services.

ETHC will also reimburse $1.2 million to a large number of its patients who overpaid them, but were apparently never reimbursed the extra money.

The suit comes after a 3-year investigation prompted by two of the former employees of the practice.

"We are hoping that other health care practitioners in this area take notice of this settlement and are ensuring there patients and governing programs are being refunded when over payments are made," assistant U.S. attorney Betsy Tonkin said.

East Tennessee Heart Consultants has 12 locations throughout East Tennessee and 42 cardiologists on staff.

It has denied any wrong doing but released this statement today..
"ETHC fully cooperated with the governmental agencies to address these allegations."
Also, "the investigation did reveal accounting procedure issues which have been addressed and resolved by ETHC."

No criminal charges will be filed.