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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Health Diagnostic Labs (HDL), a Virginia-based lab with Medicare revenue in excess of $150 million, is at the center of an OIG investigation for violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The allegedly improper arrangement involved paying above-market fees ($20 for a “processing and handling fee” as compared to the Medicare allowable of $3 for “venipuncture”) to physicians for processing specimens sent to HDL labs, with the intention of inducing physicians to send HDL business. The allegations parallel the infamous June 25, 2014 OIG Alert, which caused quite an uproar in laboratory services circles earlier this year. Notably, HDL says it stopped the practice of paying the “processing and handling fee” after the June 25, 2014 OIG Alert was published. The article reports that other labs under investigation for incorporating the same payment model, include Quest's Berkeley HeartLab, Singulex Inc., Boston Heart Diagnostics Corp., and Atherotech Diagnostics Lab.

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