Jacksonville Toxicology Laboratory Agrees To Fine, Plus Permanent Exclusion From Participating In Federal Healthcare Programs
Jacksonville, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces today that Total Lab Care, LLC, a toxicology laboratory based in Jacksonville, Florida, has agreed to pay the government $212,500 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. In addition, the company agreed not to participate in any federal healthcare programs in the future.
According to the settlement agreement, Total Lab Care, LLC sought reimbursements for urine toxicology samples that were referred from Dr. Nikhil Nihalani. The United States contends these toxicology samples were the product of improper financial remuneration and, as such, the claims were tainted under the Anti-Kickback Statute. The United States contends that Total Lab Care improperly paid a physician for the referral of toxicology samples – samples that are usually tested for drug diversion potential.
This settlement reflects the government’s commitment to investigating toxicology laboratories for improper and unnecessary services. Earlier last year, the United States Attorney’s Office reached a $7.4 million False Claims Act settlement with another local toxicology laboratory. Toxicology laboratory tests are one of the fastest growing healthcare expenditures.
“Illegal arrangements in order to boost profits at the expense of the taxpayers will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “This settlement reflects the resolve of the OIG and our partners to ensure accountability in every corner of the health care industry.”
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. It was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Shea Gibbons and Jason Mehta.
The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.