EKRA Now Used to Combat Fraudulent COVID-19 Testing, Too

The Department of Justice steps beyond the law’s original focus on opioid-related lab testing fraud An interesting aspect with enforcement of the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA) is the government’s willingness to go after charges tied to fraudulent COVID-19 testing.  The case U.S. vs. Malena Badon Lepetich provides a good example of this approach. A grand jury indicted Lepetich on various healthcare fraud charges last year, including that she allegedly offered to pay...

Large Operator of COVID-19 Collection Sites Suspends Operations and Clinical Laboratory Testing Following State and Federal Probes

COVID lab testing company reportedly was paid up to $124 million for COVID-19 testing What do an axe-throwing lounge, a donut shop, and a COVID-19 testing company have in common? All three were under the ownership of the same husband and wife. Apparently, though, COVID-19 medical laboratory testing was more lucrative. It’s been reported this married couple’s testing company received as much as $124 million just from federal health programs. The co-owners are now being sued by multiple state’s...

Transition from Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Reimbursement for Hospitals, Physicians, and Clinical Laboratories Continues, Albeit Slowly, Reports Say 

Medical laboratories and anatomic pathologists may need to squeeze into narrow networks to be paid under value-based schemes, especially where Medicare Advantage is concerned Pathologists have likely heard the arguments in favor of value-based payment versus fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement models: FFS encourages providers to order medically unnecessary procedures and lab tests. FFS removes incentives for providers to order patient services more carefully. Fraudsters can generate huge...

Private Labs in South Africa Voluntarily Agree to Lower Prices for COVID-19 PCR Tests following Investigation by Country’s Competition Commission

In an out-of-court settlement, two commercial clinical laboratory companies also agreed to reduce their prices for rapid antigen tests as well How clinical laboratory companies were pricing their COVID-19 tests caught the attention of government authorities in South Africa. Government agencies in that country are establishing what they view as fair clinical laboratory pricing for private COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and rapid antigen tests without turning to litigation or fines....

Media Reporting Shows Some Clinical Laboratories Charge Significantly Higher than Average Prices for COVID-19 Tests—and It Is Perfectly Legal

When people receive COVID-19 testing at an out-of-network facility, federal law requires insurers to pay that clinical laboratory’s posted ‘cash price’ when negotiated prices have not previously been established In the latest example that some COVID-19 testing companies are charging significantly higher prices than others, The New York Times (NYT) recently reported that one COVID lab company with “more than a dozen testing sites” throughout the US was charging $380 for a COVID-19 rapid test...

German Feasibility Study Shows Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging May Provide New Technique for Identifying Positive Margins during Prostatectomies

Prostate cancer currently has the highest positive surgical margin rate of any cancer in men, with 21% of patients left with cancer cells at the resection site Cancer surgeons may soon have a new technology to help them completely remove cancerous tissue during prostate cancer surgery. Called Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI), this new diagnostic technology under development at the Essen University Hospital in Essen, Germany, will be of interest to surgical pathologists since it could become...
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