A group of five Texas lab companies agreed to pay $56.2 million to UnitedHealthcare to settle allegations that the labs submitted millions of dollars in fraudulent claims for unnecessary and expensive urine tests.
The lab companies sued UnitedHealthcare in 2016 for refusing to pay claims for the labs' services. UnitedHealthcare then filed counterclaims, alleging that the three owners of the out-of-network labs orchestrated a scheme in which they paid kickbacks to providers for ordering urine tests that were often medically unnecessary.
The owners and providers involved in the scheme "used patients as pawns — mere sources of urine and saliva that could be mined to advance their own greed-driven agenda," UnitedHealthcare alleged in its amended counterclaim filed in January 2019.
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in San Antonio dismissed the labs' claims against UnitedHealthcare and barred the labs from submitting further for lab testing services to UnitedHealthcare, its customers and patients.