LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings) has been hit with a whistle-blower federal lawsuit alleging the laboratory services company defrauded Virginia’s Medicaid program by billing it at much higher rates than other customers, according to a recently unsealed complaint filed in federal court on September 9th.
Relators Hunter Laboratories LLC and its founder Chris Riedel contend that LabCorp made false claims for payment of Medicaid-covered laboratory tests by claiming that the fees they charged to Medicaid were no higher that the maximum allowed under Virginia regulations.
As a participating Medicaid provider, LabCorp is required to provide services to Medicaid patients at their most favorable rates, but they repeatedly defrauded Medicaid by billing the program for fees well in excess of their lowest costs, according to the complaint.
For example, LabCorp, the Relators say, provided volume-based discounts to members of the Premier Inc. purchasing collective, resulting in discounted fees that are way below what LabCorp has billed to Medicaid.
“This suit calls defendants to answer for defrauding Virginia’s taxpayers and compromising the welfare of Medicaid beneficiaries,” the Relators said.
Additionally, for some tests, rates for private customers have been discounted well below costs, but LabCorp nevertheless has an interest in keeping those rates low in order to prevent any other laboratories from gaining a piece of the market, according to the complaint.
“In other words, by using the publicly funded Medicaid program to subsidize private discounts, the larger and better established laboratories have cornered much of the market for themselves,” the complaint said.
The suit alleges violations of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. The Relators are seeking civil penalties and treble damages.
Representatives for LabCorp did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Riedel and Hunter have won big in cases against LabCorp before. In 2011, LabCorp agreed to pay $49.5 million to settle a California lawsuit alleging it illegally overcharged Medi-Cal for laboratory tests and gave kickbacks in exchange for Medi-Cal referrals.
The suit originated with a qui tam complaint also filed in 2005 Riedel and Hunter alleging that LabCorp and others had systematically overcharged Medi-Cal over a 15-year period. In March 2009, then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that the state had intervened in the suit.
Tags: fraud, Government Investigations, labcorp, LabCorp Billing Stories, Labcorp Criminal, labcorp whistle blowers, Labcorp Wrongdoings, Labcorp.com Billing, laboratory Corporation of America, medicaid, medicaid fraud
Andrew Baker, the former CEO of Unilab and current CEO of Huntington Life Sciences, has written an article for The Huffington Post in which he asks the federal government to stop LabCorp and another lab company from continuing to scam the Medicare and Medicaid programs of billions of dollars.
Mr. Baker had previously filed a whistleblower lawsuit against LabCorp in 2007 alleging that LabCorp violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statutes. Those case is still in court.
In the article he estimates that LabCorp and the other lab have cost taxpayers $15 billion since 1996 in the form of false claims stemming from illegal kickbacks to Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare and Blue Cross.
The claims are that Labcorp is breaking federal laws by deeply discounting lab fees to private insurance companies, sometimes charging them for laboratory tests even below their costs. In exchange, the insurance companies pressure doctors in their networks to send all of their patients’ lab work, including Medicare and Medicaid patients, to LabCorp.
He claims that Labcorp funds the kickbacks, in the form of lower lab fees for private insurance companies, by charging Medicare and Medicaid patients the highest possible fee instead of offering them the lowest charged price, and by pressuring doctors to send all of their lab work exclusively to Labcorp. Other categories in Medicaid and Medicare require that the government be charged the lowest charged fees by a provider.
Mr. Baker also mentions LabCorp’s $50 million settlement with the state of California for overcharging California’s Medicaid program and for providing kickbacks to physicians for referrals.
As a result of his article, pressure is increasing for government intervention in laboratory pricing for government programs. He advocates for clarification of the intent of current federal law that would require laboratories to charge Medicare and Medicaid their “best price”, just as California has already done. This would require that Laboratory Corporation of America can only charge Medicare and Medicaid the lowest price they charge private insurance companies or HMOs. Which in turn means a massive hit to Labcorp’s bottom line. It would also open up the market to smaller labs which don’t have the multi-tier, lower than cost pricing intended to put them out of business. Such a hit to Labcorp’s financials would tumble their stock (NYSE: LH).
Tags: billing, federal government, Government Investigations, lab, labcorp, Labcorp Criminal, LabCorp Stock, labcorp unethical, labcorp whistle blowers, laboratory Corporation of America, laboratory test, lawsuits, medicaid, medicare, NYSE:LH
James Litomisky filed suit against Laboratory Corp. of America on June 27 in federal court of New Orleans. In the lawsuit, Litomisky argues he was terminated from his employment with LabCorp in retaliation for his objecting to, opposing, and refusing to cooperate with LabCorp’s discrimination against its employees with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment on the basis of their race.
Specifically, Litomisky alleges his supervisor made racist remarks regarding African American LabCorp employees. He objected to this language and complained to the human resource department. He was told the employees who were the butt of the racial comments must file complaints in writing on the proper forms for any action to be taken.
Less than a month later, he was placed on a performance improvement plan, allegedly in retaliation for his complaints about the discriminatory behavior. Litomisky also argues that his supervisor directed him to falsify quarterly performance management reviews of two African-American employees so that his supervisor could terminate them. Initially, he complied with the directive, but the next day he informed human resources of the incident and corrected the reviews. He was terminated from his position in October 2010, the lawsuit says.
The defendant is accused of violating the Louisiana Human Rights Act and the Louisiana Whistleblower Act. The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, reinstatement or in lieu of reinstatement, front pay, compensatory damages including medical expenses, pecuniary damages, damages for emotional distress, lost wages and benefits, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Tags: Bad Service Centers, complaints, discriminatory behavior, General Labcorp Stories, labcorp, labcorp centers, LabCorp Complaints, LabCorp Employee Stories, LabCorp Employees, LabCorp Executives, LabCorp Jobs, labcorp unethical, labcorp whistle blowers, Labcorp Wrongdoings, racial comments, racial remarks, whistleblower act
I work at one of LabCorp’s many billing departments around the country. The place sucks. The department, the company, the manager, and supervisors. I come in every day and my co-workers are like robots in a factory.The job is fast paced and I’m not surprised about the billing complaints because, yes we do make mistakes in billing. Why? Because we’re told to do it at a super speed/superman rate which causes many of us to miss other vital information. If we don’t meet their numbers, we get called in and get “talked to” about our poor performance. The job really is simple to do if you’re allowed to do to it the way humans should. It’s the company and superiors that make the work atrocious.Here’s a typical day for the billing people: come in, work, work, work, get bitched at by superior for talking/laughing with co-workers/having emotion/acting human/not performing to LabCorp’s standards, work, work, work, get bitched at some more, work, then the day’s over. Actually, that’s the setting in other departments in the company. I’ve talked to others, not one of them have anything nice to say about the company or their superiors. We’re not supposed to have any type of human emotion or try to enjoy our work environment, apparently. Yet the ones trying to impose the rules are don’t even follow it.My superiors aren’t doing crap and chat with one another for most of the day and the fingers get pointed at us on the floor when corporate isn’t happy with our performance. When I say we’re like robots, it ‘s true. That’s what they want us to be. Think of a sweatshop setting. When they’re not happy, they create dumber rules and added stress.If you absolutely need money, then apply here. Otherwise, this should be your last resort. It COULD be a good company to work for, but they need people who don’t have sticks up their asses and actually know what they’re doing and can treat and respect people who are below them.
Tags: billing, complaints, General Labcorp Stories, LabCorp Billing Stories, LabCorp Complaints, LabCorp Employee Stories, LabCorp Employees, LabCorp Managers, labcorp whistle blowers, Labcorp Wrongdoings, Labcorp.com Billing
The United States Department of Labor is investigating Labcorp for not being in compliance with their affirmative action plan and for discriminating against certain sectors of the population. In a recent letter received by LabCorp Sucks from a former employee, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requested that their Jacksonville, Florida office consider the allegations made by the former employee when conducting future compliance evaluations of Laboratory Corporation of America.
If Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) is found to not be in compliance and fails to correct the problems, they can be sanctioned and could even be restricted from participating in the Medicaid and Medicare program, two major income sources for the Laboratory company. LabCorp can also be prohibited from participating in other government programs, including the CHAMPUS program (The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) that provides laboratory services to government employees, and to Veterans Administration program beneficiaries. LabCorp currently contracts with all these government programs to provide reference laboratory services to program participants. Since many HMOs that serve the beneficiaries of these federal programs also contract with LabCorp, the HMOs would also be restricted from using LabCorp. The loss in business could be in the hundreds of millions and could be catastrophic to LabCorp stock (NYSE: LH).
LabCorp’s discrimination problems have been well known to company insiders. The company has various lawsuits pending and has had to settle others by paying out millions. In a recent Florida case, LabCorp even had to fire the law firm representing them after accusations of obstruction of justice by the firm.
Tags: affirmative action plan, contract compliance programs, employment standards administration, federal contract compliance, lab, labcorp, LabCorp Complaints, Labcorp Criminal, LabCorp Employee Stories, LabCorp Stock, LabCorp Stories, labcorp unethical, labcorp whistle blowers, Labcorp Wrongdoings, laboratory services, medicare program, reference laboratory, u s department of labor, united states department of labor
I recently received an email from John Hoevel, a prominent attorney in Chicago, who is thinking about filing a class action lawsuit against LabCorp for over billing patients. It seems that LabCorp is billing the patient’s insurance company and then over-billing the patient more than the patient responsibility portion of the insurance (or as they call it in the insurance world, more than the co-payment). The bottom line is that if LabCorp is billing patients more than they are allowed, Hoevel & Associates wants to stop them.
He would like to hear from you if:
1. Your insurance company processed a claim for LabCorp services, and
2. LabCorp or LCA Collections billed you for a balance higher than the patient responsibility amount shown on your insurance company’s Explanation of Benefits (EOB), and
3. You paid the balance, or any portion thereof.
You can contact Mr. John Hoevel by emailing him at email@example.com. All emails will be kept confidential and you may have an opportunity to recover some of those over-billings.
If you are a LabCorp employee who knows about this or any other unethical practice by LabCorp, please contact Mr. Hoevel. Your statements can be very useful in stopping unethical actions by LabCorp and you and your job will be fully protected by the law under the Whistleblower Act. You might even get a reward.
Tags: billing, General Labcorp Stories, insurance, labcorp, LabCorp Billing Stories, LabCorp Complaints, labcorp unethical, labcorp whistle blowers, Labcorp Wrongdoings, Labcorp.com Billing, laboratory Corporation of America, lawsuits, LCA Collections
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