Inform Diagnostics to Pay $63.5M for False Claims; Whistleblower Share TBD

Posted: 02/16/2019  browse the blog archive
Inform Diagnostics to Pay $63.5M for False Claims; Whistleblower Share TBD

Pathology laboratory company Inform Diagnostics has agreed to pay $63.5 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians, the Justice Department announced last month.  Inform Diagnostics, formerly known as Miraca Life Sciences Inc., is headquartered in Irving, Texas, and was a subsidiary of Miraca Holdings Inc., a Japanese company, during the period relevant to the case.  In 2017, majority ownership of the company changed, and the company was renamed. 

The settlement announced today resolves allegations that the company violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law by providing to referring physicians subsidies for electronic health records (EHR) systems and free or discounted technology consulting services.  The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law restrict the financial relationships that health care providers, including laboratories, may have with doctors who refer patients to them.  Although regulations adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2006 included provisions that allowed laboratories to provide EHR donations to physicians under certain conditions, the United States alleged that the defendant violated those conditions.  HHS withdrew those exemptions for laboratories in 2013. 

The allegations stem from three lawsuits that were filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens to bring suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in any recovery.  The whistleblowers’ share of the settlement announced today has not yet been determined.

The Chanler Group, in association with the Hirst Law Group, represents whistleblowers who take action under the False Claims Act to report fraud committed against the federal and state governments.  We have years of experience representing whistleblower clients who expose every kind of fraud against the government, including health care fraud, contract fraud, and tax fraud.  Read more about our expertise in False Claims Act cases and how you can take action.