UnitedHealthcare Accuses Dallas Labs of $100 Million Fraud Involving Kickbacks for Bogus Drug Tests

One of the nation's biggest insurers, UnitedHealthcare, has sued a Dallas-based laboratory network in federal court, alleging the owners paid millions in bribes and kickbacks to doctors and other providers between 2011 and 2016 for overpriced and unnecessary drug and genetic tests.Next Health's sales consultants gave people $50 gift cards to urinate in cups at Whataburger bathrooms, the lawsuit says. The specimens were sent to the labs for a battery of unnecessary and expensive tests under the guise of a "wellness study," the lawsuit alleges.United says it got stuck with the $100 million tab due to Next Health's fraudulent activities.Next Health targeted self-funded insurance plans offered by the Texas Employee Retirement System and other governmental entities in Texas, according to United. Victims include charities, retirees and taxpayers, the health insurer said."Unfortunately, hard-working Texans bore the brunt of Next Health's illegal business model," the lawsuit said.Next Health released a statement on Tuesday, saying the company is disappointed that United chose to sue "as we have been negotiating with them to develop a new working agreement covering a number of operational and financial issues.""In our view, this is a matter for continued negotiation and not litigation, especially as the lawsuit misrepresents our actions, responsibilities and compliance standards. We remain confident that, acting in good faith, we can resolve this dispute quickly. If necessary, Next Health will be fully prepared to defend our company and our practices in court,"The 81-page lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in Dallas.United said that Next Health is controlled by Semyon Narosov and Andrew Hillman, who have been indicted in federal court in Dallas on charges that they were paid bribes and kickbacks for referring patients to Forest Park Medical Center. The two are not named as defendants in the civil lawsuit.Their attorneys could not be reached for comment.  Continue reading...

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