Attorney General Settles Kickback and Unnecessary Testing Allegation with Millennium Labs for $6.5 Million
Today Attorney General Sam Olens formally announced Georgia’s participation in a nationwide settlement with Millennium Labs. Georgia’s $6.5 million settlement, part of a wider agreement in which Millennium will pay $250 million, resolves allegations that Millennium caused medically unnecessary urine drug testing, facilitated overreaching genetic evaluations, and gave physicians free urine testing cups to induce the use of Millennium’s labs for follow-up testing. Georgia was one of only three states to intervene in the litigation and filed a civil fraud complaint against Millennium in May 2015.
“Medical decisions must be based on the needs of the individual, not who comes into the office with the best free product,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “Georgia’s intervention in this lawsuit reflects my commitment to fighting healthcare fraud.”
Georgia’s settlement resolves allegations that from 2008 to 2015, Millennium caused the submission of false claims to Georgia Medicaid through the use of so-called “custom profiles.” Rather than an individualized assessment of need, the profile called for standardized testing and resulted in medically unnecessary tests. Georgia Medicaid, like most other health plans, requires that billed medical services be reasonable and necessary. The settlement also resolves allegations in Georgia’s Complaint that Millennium gave physicians free point-of-care urine testing cups. These cups are valuable to doctors because they provide immediate, on-site preliminary drug test results. In exchange, Georgia contends Millennium required that doctors confirm all screenings through Millennium. Georgia Medicaid prohibits companies from giving or paying any benefit for the purpose of inducing referrals of Medicaid patients.
The settlement also resolves allegations brought in other lawsuits that Millennium promoted medically unnecessary pharmacogenetics testing (PGT). Like the urine testing allegations, the settlement resolves allegations that PGT was performed on a routine or preemptive basis and without an assessment of individual patient need.
In total, Georgia’s share of the settlement is in excess of $6,546,000. About half of that amount will be returned to the federal government, which pays a portion of Medicaid expenditures, and a percentage will go to the whistleblowers that initiated the investigation. An estimated $3,135,000 will be returned to the Georgia Department of Community Health.
The State of Georgia was represented by Assistant Attorneys General Kevin D. Bradberry and Sara E. Vann. Also investigating the case for Georgia were Investigators Shakethia Morgan, Beth Ann Teague, Anita Reddick, and Roy Wood.