The two most senior senators with jurisdiction over the healthcare sector wrote insurers and clinical laboratories Tuesday seeking any evidence of kickback schemes between such entities, according to a committee news release.
Lawmakers query insurers, labs about possible kickback schemes
Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Finance Committee chairman and ranking member, respectively, wrote three health insurance companies and two clinical laboratory testing companies for information on whether they are involved in the practice of labs providing insurers with discounted pricing in exchange for referrals.
The senators described such discount arrangements as “particularly suspect” in potentially costing Medicare and Medicaid extra when beneficiaries from those programs are involved.
The letters to Cigna, Laboratory Corporation of America, Aetna, UnitedHealth Group, and Quest Diagnostics requested documents related to lab service agreements; negotiation of lab contracts; presentations to boards about the contracts; and presentations to clinical laboratory testing providers.
The investigation of so-called pull-through practices is the latest anti-fraud effort of the two senators, who previously detailed tactics used by home health companies to increase their profits at the expense of Medicare.
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