FALSE CLAIMS

Kentucky Lab Pays $125K to Settle Self-Disclosed SVT False Billing Charges

Case: VerraLab JA, LLC, has agreed to pay $125,983 after self-disclosing that it billed Medicare for specimen validity tests (SVT) performed to authenticate urine samples for drug testing. Unlike the underlying urine drug test which is actually used to manage treatment, SVT is not considered medically necessary by Medicare where its sole purpose is to validate the specimen, i.e.,  verify that it hasn’t been adulterated. 

Significance: In Feb. 2018, the OIG issued a report saying that Medicare made $66.3 million in improper SVT payments to nearly 4,500 labs and physician offices. CMS has ordered Medicare contractors to recover those payments. Meanwhile, labs are proactively coming forward to self-disclose. VerraLab is the fourth settlement involving SVT payments that OIG has reported in the first quarter of 2019. The other three also involve providers from the Ohio Valley area:  

Self-Disclosed SVT Payment Settlements (Jan. thru March 2019)
Date Lab Settlement Amount
Jan. 24 Northern Kentucky Center for Pain Relief $126,799
Feb. 6 Wheelersburg Internal Medicine Group + Mohammad Mouhib Kalo, MD (Ohio) $111,706
March 13 VerraLab JA, LLC (Louisville, KY) $125,983
March 13 Medical Specialist of Kentuckiana, PLLC (MSK) (Louisville, KY) $69,776
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