Monday, October 14, 2019

Patrick Ridgeway Fined in Kickback Scheme

The Justice Department issued the following statement on October 9:

The Justice Department announced today that UTC Laboratories Inc. (RenRX) has agreed to pay $41.6 million, and its three principals, Tarun Jolly M.D., Patrick Ridgeway, and Barry Griffith, have agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks in exchange for laboratory referrals for pharmacogenetic testing and for furnishing and billing for tests that were not medically necessary. RenRX, a laboratory company headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, also agreed to a twenty-five year period of exclusion from participation in any federal health care program.

“The payment of kickbacks in exchange for medical referrals undermines the integrity of our healthcare system. Today’s settlement reflects the Department of Justice’s commitment to ensuring that taxpayer monies are well spent and not wasted on unnecessary medical testing,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

“Healthcare fraud, in any incarnation, hurts patients, honest medical practitioners, and all of the nation’s taxpayers,” said United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser of the Eastern District of Louisiana. “The favorable resolution of this False Claims Act matter illustrates the collaborative efforts and firm commitment by our federal partners to use all available remedies, both civil and criminal, to address signs of waste and abuse by providers in our healthcare markets.”

The government alleged that between 2013 and 2017, UTC and its principals offered and paid remuneration to physicians to induce the ordering of pharmacogenetic tests, purportedly in return for their participation in a clinical trial known as the Diagnosing Adverse Drug Reactions Registry (DART), clinical trial identifier NCT01970709. The government also alleged that UTC and its principals offered and paid remuneration, including sales commissions, to entities and individuals as part of the scheme, and furnished pharmacogenetic tests that were not medically necessary and billed the Medicare program.

“The payment of cash and thinly-disguised referral bribes, as contended by the government, resulted in a more than $42 million dollar resolution in this case," said Special Agent in Charge CJ Porter of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “Additionally, my agency barred RenRX from receiving any payments from federal health programs for a full 25 years. Genetic testing scams are becoming all too common. OIG has a genetic testing fraud alert here.”



The settlement announced today resolves allegations in six lawsuits pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana: United States ex rel. Bergeron v. UTC Labs., LLC, et al., No. 16-15440 (E.D. La.); United States ex rel. McNeil v. Tarun Jolly, UTC Labs., LLC, et al., No. 14-2247 (E.D. La.); United States ex rel. Green & Lawson v. UTC Labs., LLC d/b/a Renaissance RX & Stone Surgical, LLC, No. 15-297 (E.D. La.); United States ex rel. Church v. UTC Labs., LLC d/b/a Renaissance RX, No. 15-877 (E.D. La.); United States ex rel. Outerbridge v. UTC Labs., LLC d/b/a Renaissance RX, No. 15-1445 (E.D. La.). The lawsuits were filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. The Act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in these cases. The whistleblower shares to be awarded have not yet been determined.

The government’s resolution of this matter illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act. Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, in conjunction with the HHS-OIG and the FBI.





14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect that this is the tip of the iceberg, i.e. this is not an isolated conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

I guess he can kiss the Lamborghini goodbye among other things

Anonymous said...

There are a few doctors in town who should be nervous. Hint: cardiologist

Anonymous said...

From Ridgeway's LinkedIn profile: "Seasoned healthcare executive with over twenty years of experience in medical device and complex laboratory services." Complex... great word choice!

Anonymous said...

Any criminal charges and convictions here?

Or do they just get a chance to turn their lives around and learn to be better from whatever caused this little paperwork snafu?

Anonymous said...

Didn't he do this before and skate with the money and similar, small penalties? Looks like a pretty good scam. Make millions breaking the law. Pay a small fine (relatively to what the crime took in). Repeat. It is certainly safer than timber scams (for the crook).

Anonymous said...

Not all, but plenty of crooked docs out there looking to settle score with insurance companies reducing reimbursement. You wouldn’t believe the shenanigans going on in healthcare. Docs running distributorships (A.L.), and using their own products to make commissions on products used to clear-cut kickback schemes. These docs believe they are owed this money.

Anonymous said...

Make $30 million. Get caught. Pay $1 million fine. Are they hiring?

Anonymous said...

What about the greedy doctors that received kickbacks?

Anonymous said...

nice little 6-7 million dollar award to the relator...his lawyer will take 40% and get paid all his attorneys fees for 4 years......good stuff

Anonymous said...

Must be nice to be a good ole boy in this state. The GOP is lost - build a wall around them, throw away the keys, and we can finally have some semblance of law and order.

Ethics 101 said...

Greed never wins.

Anonymous said...

Agree 12:55 about the GOP, but the Dimocrats are even worse.

Cynical Sam said...

Do you know what you call a person who graduates last in his class in medical school?

Doctor

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.