Health Diagnostics Laboratory, Singulex settle kickback suits for $48.5M

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Health Diagnostics Laboratory will pay $47 million and Singulex Inc. $1.5 million to settle allegations that the cardiovascular disease testing laboratories violated the False Claims Act.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced the agreement on April 9.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) alleged Health Diagnostics Laboratory and Singulex paid doctors in exchange for patient referrals and billed Medicare for unnecessary testing. The DoJ said the companies gave the physicians between $10 and $17 per referral and waived patient co-pays and deductibles.

The DoJ also alleged the companies worked with BlueWave Healthcare Consultants, a marketing company, to offer kickbacks to physicians, who in turn referred patients to the companies for medically unnecessary tests.

In a news release, the DoJ said the settled claims are only allegations and that there has been no determination of liability.

In a statement, Health Diagnostics Laboratory said reaching the agreement did not mean the company engaged in wrongdoing and that the settlement was “not an indication that any conduct was improper or unlawful.”

Michael Mayes, MD, Scarlett Lutz, Kayla Webster and Chris Reidel filed the lawsuits under whistleblower provisions in the False Claims Act. Their share of the settlements has not been determined, according to the DoJ.

The government also said it is investigating similar allegations against the laboratory Berkeley HeartLab; BlueWave Healthcare Consultants and its owners, Floyd Calhoun Dent and J. Bradley Johnson; and former Health Diagnostics Laboratory CEO Latonya Mallory.