Court cases involving the lab and health care industries from this past week and a half have centered mostly on fraud. In addition to those cases, a former doctor was charged for unlawfully distributing opioid pills and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and attorneys general from two states sued to block UnitedHealth Group’s acquisition of Change Healthcare. Here’s a quick summary of these cases:
- Feb. 24: The DOJ and attorneys general in New York and Minnesota filed a civil lawsuit to stop UnitedHealth Group’s acquisition of Change Healthcare, alleging the $13 billion deal would harm competition in the health insurance market for a key technology used by insurers to process claims and reduce health care costs. They add the deal would also harm competition in commercial health insurance markets.
- Feb. 25: Ten Floridians were indicted for their participation in a $67 million health care fraud, wire fraud, kickback, and money laundering scheme dealing with fraudulent and false Medicare claims for durable medical equipment and medically unnecessary genetic tests.
- March 1: A former Delaware doctor received a 20-year prison sentence for maintaining drug-involved premises and unlawfully distributing a variety of powerful opioids including oxycodone, OxyContin, methadone, morphine, and fentanyl.
- March 2: The DOJ announced that a Tennessee physician and his wife were convicted by a jury on March 1 in the Northern District of Alabama of defrauding insurers, providing unnecessary services, and unlawfully distributing opioids from their now shut down Alabama pain clinics. They allegedly caused over $50 million in unnecessary or fraudulent medical services to be charged to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, TRICARE, Medicare, and others.
- March 7: Mallinckrodt ARD LLC, a pharmaceutical company formerly known as Mallinckrodt ARD Inc. and previously Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., agreed to pay $260 million to settle lawsuits over alleged underpayments of Medicaid drug rebates and paying illegal kickbacks.
- March 8: A Florida-based medical services contractor, Comprehensive Health Services LLC, agreed to pay $930,000 to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by mispresenting to the Air Force and State Department that it was compliant with contract requirements regarding providing medical services at State Department and Air Force facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Look for more insight on a selection of these cases in upcoming issues of Lab Compliance Advisor.