Cardiologist says he never filed false claims

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A Jackson, Miss., cardiologist who agreed to pay $1.15 million to settle allegations that he overbilled Medicare and Medicaid said through his attorney that he never filed a false claim.

The attorney, J. Houston Gordon, said a group of board certified cardiologists reviewed Dr. Elie Korban's patient files and agreed the medical procedures he billed for were necessary.

Korban was accused of performing medically unnecessary cardiac stent placements between 2005 and 2008. U.S. Justice Department officials say he violated the False Claims Act. The Justice Department announced the $1.15 million settlement with Korban on Dec. 19.

Gordon released a statement to the Jackson Sun that said Korban "strongly denied and denies now that he performed any unnecessary cardiac stenting," and Korban disputes the opinion of federal government experts.

Calls by the newspaper to the U.S. Justice Department were not returned.

Korban owns Delta Clinic, with offices in Jackson and Lexington, and has privileges at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and Regional Hospital of Jackson.

Federal prosecutors alleged that from 2005 to 2008, Korban placed cardiac stents in Medicare and Medicaid patients when the stents were not medically necessary. They have also alleged that Korban improperly billed Medicare for work performed by substitute doctors when he was available to perform the services himself.

Cardiac stents are mesh tubes placed in coronary arteries of patients to keep their arteries open during the treatment of coronary heart disease.



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