Friday, May 24, 2024

Cary company pays $1.9 million to resolve Medicaid fraud claims

A Cary company and its CEO, Pick Chay, have agreed to pay $1.9 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by billing North Carolina Medicaid for unnecessary urine tests tainted by illegal kickbacks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte announced Friday.

From March 2016 until September 2017, Aspirar Medical Lab submitted claims to Medicaid for urine tests were part of an illegal kickback arrangement between Aspirar and BPolloni Consulting. BPolloni referred urine drug tests to Aspirar, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Under the arrangement, Aspirar paid BPolloni for each urine drug test BPolloni or another entity, Do It 4 the Hood, referred to Aspirary. The CEO of BPolloni and other individuals who operated D4H have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and anti-kickback violations.

Glenn Pair and co-conspirator Markuetric Stringfellow owned Do It 4 the Hood, also known as D4H. The two paid individuals to recruit at-risk youths, in particular children who were Medicaid eligible in North Carolina, for the D4H program. Once enrolled, children were required to submit urine specimens for drug testing.

Pair and Stringfellow conspired with laboratories to perform the drug testing of the enrolled children’s urine specimens and received kickbacks once the laboratories were reimbursed by the North Carolina Medicaid, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pair, Stringfellow and their co-conspirators submitted thousands of fraudulent claims to Medicaid of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia totaling more than $17 million and received more than $5 million in fraudulent reimbursements. In addition, they received $1.8 million in kickbacks from the laboratories that participated in the conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In July 2022, Pair was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $5 million in restitution. Stringfellow was sentenced in February 2021 to 78 months in prison and was ordered pay $5,278,550 in restitution for his role in the scheme.

The tests Aspirar submitted to Medicaid also were unnecessary. The orders for the tests were not patient-specific and did not reflect a qualified medical provider’s determination of the patient’s need for the testing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Illegal referral and kickback schemes increase profits for wrongdoers and cause taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicaid to pay for items or services that patients may not need,” says U.S. Attorney Dena King in a statement released.

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