This article was updated to include a statement from Molecular Testing Labs.
NEW YORK (360Dx) – Vancouver, Washington-based toxicology and genetics laboratory Molecular Testing Labs has agreed to pay up to $1.8 million to settle allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to local labs in exchange for referrals from government healthcare organizations.
According to the settlement announced by the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington, between August 2014 and July 2015 Molecular Testing Labs allegedly made payments to local labs in exchange for referrals of Medicare and Tricare program business in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. By submitting claims based on those payments to Medicare and Tricare, Molecular Testing Labs also allegedly violated the False Claims Act. Molecular Testing Labs is a subsidiary of Blackfly Investments.
"This settlement sends a clear message that those doing business with government healthcare programs are being scrutinized to ensure they are not engaging in illegal side deals that harm government healthcare systems," US Attorney Annette Hayes said in a statement.
Molecular Testing Labs said in an emailed statement that it admitted no wrongdoing in connection with the settlement.
"Like many health care providers subject to government oversight, Molecular chose to enter into a settlement in an effort to put this matter behind us, to end the uncertainty associated with it, and to stop spending our valuable resources on it," the company statement said.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Health Agency of the US Department of Defense, and the FBI assisted the US Attorney's Office with the investigation.