Heart doctors named in suit - Valley Morning Star : Local News

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Heart doctors named in suit

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Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011 12:00 am

McALLEN — A civil lawsuit accuses four local cardiologists of billing Medicare for excessive tests and failing to perform procedures themselves.

The cardiologists operate Valley Heart Consultants, 1200 E. Savannah Ave. No. 7, the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit.

Two of the firm’s former employees made allegations to the U.S. government, claiming the cardiologists used unqualified personnel and alleging the possibility that Medicare was bilked out of millions of dollars after “thousands upon thousands” of fake claims were filed, according to the lawsuit.

A call to Valley Heart Consultants early Thursday afternoon went unanswered.

The lawsuit makes no specific demand for total reimbursement from the doctors, instead asking for between $5,000 and $10,000 per alleged violation.

First filed under seal in federal court nearly four years ago, the lawsuit — against Drs. Carlos D. Mego, Subbarao Yarra, Yamil W. Aude and Pedro Mego — was unsealed Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa.

The allegations into Medicare fraud came after Ricardo Gonzalez, the firm’s former radiology director, launched an investigation into his bosses.