Intended for healthcare professionals


Senior citizens were routinely tested for “angel dust” in scam that led to $256m settlement

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 27 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5743
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

One of the United States’ largest urine drug testing companies, Millennium Health, has agreed to pay $256m (£167m; €232m) to settle allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicare for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary drug tests on senior citizens and ran a kickback scheme designed to induce doctors to order the tests.

The agreement with the Department of Justice will resolve eight whistleblower suits filed by former company employees and clinics that did business with Millennium. The eight unnamed plaintiffs, whose suits were joined by the government under a provision of the False Claims Act, will share about $31m of the settlement.

In court filings, federal prosecutors described a company dominated by a “culture of greed, intimidation and intense sales pressure.” The core business was urine testing of patients on opioid therapy, normally done …

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