The settlement resolves allegations that several Tampa area laboratories and pain management centers submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare for medically unnecessary drug tests. The whistleblowers’ complaints allege that the defendants instituted a policy of conducting drug tests with every patient visit regardless of medical need and without individualized determinations of necessity by treating physicians.
This settlement resolves two lawsuits filed by the whistleblowers under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows whistleblowers who uncover fraud against the government to file lawsuits on behalf of the government and share in any recovery. The whistleblowers in this case will be awarded $7.79 million for their efforts in bringing the alleged fraud to light.
In addition to allowing whistleblowers a share in the recovery, the FCA also provides whistleblowers with important protections against retaliation.
The settlement discussed above is based on allegations only. There has been no determination of guilt or liability.