Nationwide Healthcare Fraud Sweep Implicates Area Labs in Kickback Scheme

Four men have been charged in connection with a scheme to drum up unnecessary lab tests and get the military’s health care system to pay for them, according to federal criminal charges filed on Wednesday.Soldiers were given Wal-Mart gift cards in exchange for their participation in the unnecessary tests of saliva and urine, the criminal filing said.Erik Bugen and Jody Sheffield, of Travis County, and brothers Matthew and Britt Hawrylak, of Fort Worth, conspired to bill Tricare about $36 million for drug toxicology and DNA cancer screening tests that were not needed and were “the product of kickbacks” to physicians, according to the criminal charges.The men were charged as part of the largest healthcare fraud enforcement action in the Justice Department’s history, according a news release from the U.S. attorney in Dallas. Nationwide, 412 people face charges, including 115 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, for bilking the government out of $1.3 billion, a Justice Department news release said.  Continue reading...

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