FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CIV
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 1997                             (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Laboratory Corporation of America has
paid the United States $700,000 to settle allegations it
overcharged Medicare for the reimbursement of car mileage by
phlebotomists who drove their personal vehicles to the residences
of homebound or nursing home patients to draw blood samples, the
Department of Justice announced today.
     Assistant Attorney General Frank W. Hunger of the Civil
Division and U.S. Attorney William A. Keefer of Miami, Florida, 
said the agreement settled claims that LabCorp--through Florida
facilities formerly owned by its subsidiary, National Health
Laboratories--defrauded Medicare by overstating the mileage of
the phlebotomists.  In Florida, Medicare reimbursed laboratories
for such mileage on a per-mile basis. 

     The government alleged that from 1989 through 1996 LabCorp's
phlebotomists overstated the miles they had driven to collect the
specimens.  As a result, Medicare reimbursed LabCorp for expenses
to which it was not entitled. 

     The agreement settles a dispute originally brought as a qui
tam case in U.S. District Court in Ft. Lauderdale in U.S. ex rel.
Holden and Bunora v. Laboratory Corporation of America, et al.,
No. 96-6272-CIV-ZLOCH.  As part of the settlement, Chris Holden
and Maryjane Bunora, who filed the suit on behalf of the U.S.,
will receive $112,000.

     The case was conducted jointly by the Civil Division of the
Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's office in Ft.
Lauderdale with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Inspector General.