Cancer treatment provider 21st Century Oncology will settle with the federal government to end a dispute related to its radiation therapy testing, a company spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.
It's the company's second settlement in three months.
Spokeswoman Melissa Rogovin wouldn't speak about specifics of the settlement before the Justice Department officially announces it. But the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, pegged the settlement amount at $35 million.
“21st Century Oncology fully cooperated with federal officials and has agreed to the settlement with no admission of wrongdoing,” Rogovin said in a statement. “Further, there was no harm to any patient related to this dispute, nor was the issue of patient harm ever a component of the dispute.”
The Justice Department declined to comment Thursday.
The company—headquartered in Fort Myers, Fla.—operates 145 treatment centers in 17 states and has 36 centers in Latin America.
Rogovin said the settlement concerns clinical training in new facility locations for a test called GAMMA. The test is a radiation-dose calculation system developed by 21st Century Oncology.
Last year, 21st Century Oncology disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Justice Department had asked for information related to allegations that the company knowingly billed the government for GAMMA services that were not medically necessary and not actually provided.
According to that filing, 21st Century Oncology billed government healthcare programs $68.4 million for GAMMA services between 2009 and 2014.
Rogovin said the company will continue to use the GAMMA tool, and the company has “enhanced” its compliance, auditing and training programs.
The settlement comes less than three months after the company entered into a separate $19.8 million settlement with the federal government over a whistle-blower's allegations that it submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for diagnostic tests called fluorescence in situ hybridization, also known as FISH. The tests were not medically necessary, and the company upcoded evaluation and management services, according to an SEC filing. FISH tests are performed on urine samples and can detect genetic abnormalities associated with bladder cancer.
In that case, the government alleged the company submitted claims for unnecessary FISH tests ordered by four of its urologists in the Fort Myers area, and that it gave doctors bonuses to encourage them to order the tests, according to the Justice Department. The whistle-blower in the case, a former 21st Century Oncology medical assistant, got $3.2 million.
The company did not admit to any liability as part of that settlement.