Last week the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia settled kickback allegations against Dr. Brenna Green, a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, osteopath for her role in a multi-state fraudulent investment scheme that the feds say involves a number of physicians and several laboratories.
Green has paid nearly $200,000 as settlement of allegations that she participated in a kickback scheme with Southwest Laboratories (Southwest), Medscan Laboratory (Medscan), and sales representatives of both companies whereby she collected approximately $5,000 per month as a “dividend” on Southwest “shares” that she purchased for a nominal amount. The dividend was earned when Green met or exceeded the number of urine drug screen referrals required by Southwest. According to the settlement documents, Southwest processed the more “lucrative” tests that were covered by private insurance companies, while referring Medicare testing to other labs, including on in North Dakota.
While both the FBI and Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services have declined to comment on the status of any investigations ongoing against Southwest, the company, which ceased operations in 2017 when its laboratory license was revoked, is currently embroiled in a number of lawsuits brought by labs it had contracted with to perform the actual testing. HealthTrackRx alleges that Southwest has failed to pay the lab nearly $2 million for its services while doling out over $80 million to physicians for referrals. Two California-based labs have also filed lawsuits against Southwest for unpaid fees, one claiming $2.2 million and the other over $300,000 in unpaid fees. HealthTrackRx has also named Green and other physicians involved in the kickback scheme as defendants in its suit.
It seems likely that over the coming months additional physicians and labs involved in the “dividend” scheme for laboratory referrals will be coming to light via settlements or indictments.