WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Texas pathology lab company has reached a $63.5 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over alleged illegal kickbacks offered to referring physicians.
The DOJ reached the settlement with Inform Diagnostics, previously Miraca Life Sciences Inc. and a subsidiary of Miraca Holdings Inc., to resolve charges the company gave physicians who made referrals to the lab "subsidies" for electronic health record systems and discounts on tech consulting. According to the department, Inform Diagnostics' actions violated the False Claims Act Anti Kickback Statue and the Stark Law.
"The well-being and needs of the patient should always be a medical provider's primary considerations," U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Don Cochran said in a statement. "The restrictions imposed by federal statutes exist to prevent improper influence on the parties prescribing and providing medical services, including laboratory tests."
"Patients deserve the unfettered, independent judgement of their health care professionals," added U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida Maria Chapa Lopez. "Offering financial incentives to physicians and medical practices in exchange for referrals undermines citizens' trust in our health care system."
The investigation into Inform Diagnostics' actions stems from three whistle blower lawsuits, according to the DOJ