Labs in Court

Ex-CEO of NWPL Settles Urine Drug Test Kickback Claims for $1.1 Million

Case: The former CEO of now-defunct Northwest Physicians Laboratories (NWPL) has agreed to shell out $1.1 million to settle charges of accepting millions in illegal payments for referring Medicare and TRICARE patients to a pair of labs owned by Cordant Health Solution for urine drug testing. Because NWPL was physician-owned, it couldn’t test urine samples for patients covered by government health programs. The kickbacks were allegedly disguised as fees for marketing services, even though no marketing services were performed.

Significance: This is the third settlement in connection with the NWPL kickback scheme. In July 2020, Cordant Health settled with the DOJ for $11,942,913, 20 percent of which went to the relator who filed the whistleblower suit that brought the scam to the government’s attention. And in December 2018, Vancouver/Washington testing lab MTL agreed to pay $1,777,738 to settle charges stemming from its role in the scheme.

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