Healthcare fraud has become rampant in recent times. Entities with well-meaning purposes have often been used as a disguise to exploit the healthcare system. A number of these cases have come to light, with the story always centering on fraudulent practices against some healthcare programs, costing the healthcare system. In most cases, healthcare services are never rendered. Crackdowns have also been rampant, with a lot of these individuals having to answer to the law. These usually involve jail time, fines imposed on the individuals, or the healthcare entity itself.
The case of Cordant Health Solutions is one of the recent ones. Cordant recently agreed to pay $11,942,913 to healthcare programs, in settlement of allegations against them. The settlement was negotiated by the assistant United States attorney, Kayla Stahman. These settlements are specific to two of Cordant operated labs. Twenty percent of this amount will be going to the realtor who brought this misconduct to the attention of the government by filing a qui tam case about it in 2015. Cordant had illegally been paying kickbacks to create urine testing business from consumers insured by the government. These misconducts were investigated by the following parties: the Defense Health Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the statement by the U.S. Department of Justice and Sterling Healthcare Opco; Cordant paid millions of dollars remuneration to entities like Genesis Marketing Group (Genesis) and Northwest Physicians Laboratories (NWPL), LLC. To secure referrals of urine drug tests paid for by federal healthcare programs. This was clearly in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act. December 2019 saw NWPL and three executives indicted for conspiracy to pay and request for kickbacks in the various endeavors they had with urine testing labs. February 1, 2021, is the date set for the trial.
The settlement had a few agreements made by Cordant. Cordant will agree to not admit to any form of wrongdoing. Cordant, as part of the settlement, will cooperate fully with the government’s investigation. Cordant will have to enter a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Cordant is required by the CIA to have and retain an independent review organization for the next five years. The purpose will be to monitor arrangements with other individuals and entities and also to make routine reports to the OIG. This CIA will, in general, serve as a way of fostering adherence to the regulations, program requirements, and written directives of federal healthcare programs.
Bryan D. Denny, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Western Field Office, said: “The questionable business practices and unnecessary medical testing revealed in this matter only served to improve financial gain and not the patients’ well-being.” He went further to explain that the settlements prove DCIS’s continuous effort to work with law enforcement agencies to preserve the integrity of federal healthcare programs, with emphasis on the Department of Defense’s TRICARE program.
The Cordant organization had paid millions of dollars to acquire referrals with the nation’s taxpayers bearing the expense. Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explained that these kickback schemes to defraud government entities were put to a stop, due to joint effort with law enforcement bodies and the department. He went further to call for vigilance so that the integrity of the healthcare programs remains guarded.
The fact remains that the watchful eyes of the law will continue to find and punish individuals that exploit the healthcare system for personal gain or any other reason. However, this does not imply that the individuals don’t have a right to legal counsel. The right counsel can go a long in making sure that justice is meted, and at the same time, making sure that the punishment fits the crime. The Healthcare Fraud Group can assist individuals that are in this situation. Our main aim is to ensure that you are effectively represented in the court of law. Contact us at 888-402 4054 for free consultations.