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Business Observer Thursday, Apr. 16, 2020 1 month ago

Health care executives to pay $41M in fraud settlement

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A Tampa lab and clinic were accused of billing government programs for medically unnecessary urine drug tests.

TAMPA —  Michael Doyle and Christopher Toepke and their businesses, Logan Laboratories Inc. and Tampa Pain Relief Centers Inc., have agreed to pay $41 million to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed they fraudulently billed Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and other federal health care programs for medically unnecessary urine drug testing. 

According to a Department of Justice press release, whistleblowers brought the alleged fraud, which occurred from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2017 — to the attention of the government. The whistleblowers will receive approximately $7.79 million from the settlement, the release states. 

Logan Labs and Tampa Pain are subsidiaries of Surgery Partners Inc.; Doyle is the former CEO of Surgery Partners and Logan Labs, while Toepke is the former group president for ancillary services at Surgery Partners, with oversight of Logan Labs, as well as a former vice president of Tampa Pain.

The government alleged Doyle and Toepke developed and implemented a policy and practice of automatically ordering urine drug testing for all patients at every visit, without any physician making an individualized determination that tests were medically necessary for the particular patients for whom the tests were ordered. 

“Medical providers seeking profits at the expense of individualized patient care will be held accountable in our district,” U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Maria Chapa Lopez states in the release. “We will protect our district’s residents from providers whose concern for their bottom line overrides medical decision making.”

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