2 Laboratories Pay $48.5 Million to Settle Anti-Kickback Claims

According to a recent Department of Justice press release, two cardiovascular testing laboratories – Health Diagnostic Laboratories (“HDL”) and Singulex – recently entered into a settlement agreement for a combined $48.5 million.   The settlements resolve a qui tam complaint which alleged that HDL and Singulex violated state and federal anti-kickback statutes and false claims acts and submitted claims to government and private insurers for “medically unnecessary” services.

The settlement was the result of a whistleblower lawsuit which alleged that the two laboratories paid physicians improper “processing fees” for tasks that were either not performed by the physicians or did not warrant the fees paid (i.e., payments were not fair market value).

The DOJ also alleged that the inducements led the physicians to order tests that were not medically necessary and were submitted to federal health care programs for payment.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services has alerted physicians and laboratories to the inappropriateness of specimen processing arrangements, most recently in a June 25, 2014 Special Fraud Alert on Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians.

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