The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused three physicians in three different states of Stark Act violations. The violations are in connection to use of a drug testing lab in Pennsylvania.
This is the second wave of accusations connected to the drug testing facility.
First wave of prosecution: Anesthesiologist gets seven-year prison sentence
The first round of convictions connected to this drug testing facility involve another physician convicted based on similar charges in 2017. The court sentenced the physician to seven years imprisonment and ordered he pay Health and Human Services $2,300,000.00 in restitution.
The DOJ accused the physician of receiving bribes and kickbacks in exchange for referring patient lab work to the drug testing facility. The agency supported these accusations with evidence that included monthly checks to the physician from the owner of the facility. The physician ultimately pled guilty to the charges.
Second wave of prosecution: 3 physicians from 3 different states accused of similar crimes
The DOJ has also accused three additional physicians of Stark Act violations in connection to use of this same drug testing facility. The facility submitted claims to Medicare and for drug testing services during a time span ranging from 2011 to 2014.
The physicians in question have agreed to settle the allegations. As part of the agreement, each physician will pay restitution. Each doctor’s restitution amount is set in correlation with his or her allegations. These payments range from $370,000 to $130,000.
DOJ continues investigation: Additional charges possible
These two waves of convictions are the result of an ongoing investigation by the DOJ. The investigation included a search of the drug facility in March of 2014. It is possible additional evidence could result in additional charges to other physicians and healthcare providers throughout the country. Those who believe they are the subject of such an investigation are wise to take action against potential charges.