The DOJ a announced on May 7th that three individual physicians have agreed to pay a total of $700,000 to settle alleged False Claims Act Violations from Improper financial relationships with a drug testing laboratory. This case is another reminder of the government’s initiative to hold physicians and other individuals accountable under the False Claims Act and other fraud and abuse laws and regulations.
The DOJ settlements announced today resolve allegations that the settling physicians referred Medicare patients to Universal Oral Fluid Laboratories ("UOFL") for drug testing services while engaged in a financial relationship with the lab. Specifically, UOFL paid the settling physicians to refer their patients to the lab for drug tests; UOFL then submitted claims to Medicare for the drug testing services from 2011 to 2014. The United States alleged that the financial arrangement between the settling physicians and Universal Oral Fluid Laboratories (UOFL) violated the physician self-referral law, commonly known as the "Stark Law," and the Anti-Kickback Statute, giving rise to liability under the False Claims Act. Pursuant to separately executed settlement agreements, Dr. Fetchero agreed to pay $200,000; Dr. Pinnamaneni agreed to pay $370,000; and Dr. Green-Mack agreed to pay $130,000.