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Healthcare Company, Lab Pays $845K to Settle Accusations of Unnecessary Drug Screenings

NEW YORK – The US Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut announced last week that Secon Laboratories and Cordant Health Solutions paid $845,108 to resolve allegations they violated the federal False Claims Act.

Denver-based Cordant Health Solutions provides laboratory services for drug tests, and its subsidiary Secon Laboratories is a lab based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Secon's client Crossroads was a behavioral health residential treatment center in New Haven, Connecticut, which starting in 2015 began ordering residents to submit to weekly urine drug testing, the DOJ said.

Between 2015 and 2017, Crossroads ordered presumptive and definitive drug tests for each resident every week, and often ordered duplicative tests for residents up to five times a week, according to the DOJ. Cordant performed the drug tests and billed them to Connecticut Medicaid. The government accused Cordant of knowing that the tests were medically unnecessary and failing to report and return overpayments for the tests. 

"Government funded tests must be ordered based on each patient’s medical needs,” said US Attorney John Durham in a statement.  “Laboratories have a responsibility to ensure that the claims they submit to government healthcare programs are for medically necessary testing services.  If a laboratory discovers that it has performed and billed for tests that were not medically necessary, it has a duty and to report and return any overpayments, and to modify its practices."

The settlement agreement is with the federal government and the government of the state of Connecticut.