Two U.S. cardiovascular disease testing laboratories, Health Diagnostics Laboratory (HDL) and Singulex Inc., agreed to pay $48.5 million to settle testing claims which allege that the two companies paid doctors for unnecessary medically testing.
According to Reuters, HDL and Singulex Inc agreed to pay $47 million and $1.5 million respectively to resolve the allegations. Both companies were accused of violating the False Claims Act by paying doctors in exchange for patient blood and billing federal healthcare program for medically unnecessary testing.
Doctors were paid between $10 and $17 for each patient they referred to the companies for blood testing. According to Department of Justice, since January 2009, more than $23.9 billion has been recovered through False Claims Act cases.
HDL explained that the blood tests were necessary to properly rule out heart disease and from this arrangement only, the company earned hundreds of millions of dollars.
Even though only two companies were affected by this case, the Justice Department intervened in federal courts in South Carolina and Washington, D.C., alongside whistleblowers in lawsuits against them and against a third laboratory company, Berkeley HeartLab Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– A spokesman for Quest Diagnostics and Berkeley HeartLab owner”]
I am ‘disappointed’ the Justice Department decided to sue Berkeley. We are aware of the allegations made in this case and look forward to presenting our case.
In an unrelated story we covered last month, Mark Zuckerberg is being sued by his would-be neighbor. Mircea Voskerician, a real estate developer, wanted to build a 9,600 square foot house behind Zuckerberg’s home in Palo Alto. More on this story here.