FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECIV
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2001(202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
OKLAHOMA CITY-BASED LAB TO PAY U.S. $9 MILLION
FOR IMPROPERLY CHARGING MEDICARE FOR TESTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Urocor Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $9 million to resolve claims that the company improperly charged Medicare and other federal health programs for certain tests it performed, the Justice Department announced today.
Urocor, a lab located in Oklahoma City, specializes in conducting tests to detect bladder and prostate cancer. Urologists refer patient specimens to Urocor in order to determine whether they contain cancer cells.
Four individuals filed separate complaints against the company on behalf of the United States under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The complaints made a number of allegations about Urocor's billing practices, including charging for medically unnecessary tests and charging for investigational tests.
Three of the four will receive a share of the proceeds of the settlement. Dr. Theresa Worner will receive $690,000, Christine Moore, $460,000 and Sandra Turner, $200,000. In addition, Turner and Bailey, who are former Urocor employees, are also settling claims against Urocor under the whistleblower protection provision of the False Claims Act.
In addition to reimbursing the government for the improper charging, Urocor is entering into a 5-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General which requires Urocor to maintain its existing compliance program to prevent future violations. The company will also be required to implement certain integrity obligations that were not part of its existing programs.
The investigation and settlement were jointly handled by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma and the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma staff of the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
The case is entitled United States ex rel. Theresa Worner v. Urocor, Inc., Civil No. CIV-97-751C (W.D. OK).