Catch of the Week: Logan Laboratories and Tampa Pain Relief Centers for Urine Drug Testing Fraud
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to Logan Laboratories, Inc. (Logan Labs), a reference laboratory in Tampa, Florida. Tampa Pain Relief Centers, Inc. (Tampa Pain), a pain clinic also based in Tampa, Florida, and two of their former executives who have agreed to pay a total of $41 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for billing various federal health care programs for medically unnecessary urine drug testing (UDT). The settlement resolves allegations brought in two separate whistleblower lawsuits, one in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the other in the Middle District of Florida.
From January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2017, defendants allegedly developed and implemented a policy and practice of automatically ordering two separate tests, “presumptive” and “definitive” UDT, for all patients at every visit, without any physician making an individualized determination that either test was medically necessary. The medically unnecessary definitive UDT were performed at Logan Labs and the medically unnecessary presumptive UDT were performed at Tampa Pain. Both companies allegedly submitted false claims for reimbursement – with full knowledge that the tests were not medically necessary –enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers.
In response to the settlement, U.S. Attorney McSwain stated “[A] laboratory that promotes and knowingly conducts medically unnecessary drug testing — prioritizing profits over objective medical decision-making — operates unlawfully and wastes limited federal health care resources. That is unfair to both patients and taxpayers and is the type of conduct that must be rooted out of our health care system.” United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Maria Chapa Lopez, added “[m]edical providers seeking profits at the expense of individualized patient care will be held accountable in our district. We will protect our district’s residents from providers whose concern for their bottom line overrides medical decision-making.”
The two whistleblowers will receive approximately $7.79 million of the settlement.
- The False Claims Act
- Fraud in Managed Care Programs
- Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Fraud
- Medically Unnecessary Services