TAF Education Fund quotes “Millennium Health Pays $256 Million For Drug Testing”
October 21, 2015
The Department of Justice announced this week that Millennium Health, a San Diego based laboratory company, will pay $256 million to resolve a whistleblower-initiated lawsuit that alleges in part that Millennium violated the False Claims Act and Stark Law.
According to the complaint, Millennium Health billed federal and state health care programs for medically unnecessary drug and genetic tests, and provided kickbacks to physicians in exchange for referrals.
“Millennium allegedly promoted indiscriminate and unnecessary testing that increased medical costs without serving patients’ real medical needs,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts. “A laboratory that promotes and knowingly conducts medically unnecessary drug testing operates unlawfully and squanders our precious federal health care resources.”
Fraud at Millennium was Extensive:
- Submitted millions of dollars’ worth of claims to Medicare for drug tests that were not covered and unnecessary;
- Promoted, “custom profiles,” which, instead of being tailored to individual patients, were in effect standing orders that caused physicians to order large number of tests without an individualized assessment of each patient’s needs;
- Made false and misleading statements about the need and value of drug tests;
- Increased sales by citing fabricated statistics about “false negative” test results;
- Distributed free drug test supplies to physicians in exchange for laboratory referrals.
As part of the settlement, Millennium will pay $227 million to resolve the billing fraud allegations, $10 million to resolve allegations that the company submitted false claims for genetic testing, and $19 million to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to resolve administrative actions related to Millennium’s urine drug test billing practices.
The whistleblowers will receive over $30 million from the settlement.
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