3 Texas medical labs charged in $300M fraud scheme

The founders of three medical labs in Texas were among 10 people indicted in a $300 million healthcare fraud scheme Feb. 10, according to the Justice Department.

The medical labs in question are Unified Laboratory Services, Spectrum Diagnostic Laboratory and Reliable Labs, all based in the Dallas area.

Five details:

1. Jeffrey Paul Madison, founder of Unified and Spectrum; Mark Christopher Boggess, COO for Unified and Spectrum; Biby Ancy Kurian, co-founder of Reliable; and Abraham Phillips, co-founder of Reliable, are among those accused of paying kickbacks to medical providers in exchange for ordering medically unnecessary lab tests.

2. The laboratories are accused of disguising kickbacks paid to the physicians as business transactions, including medical adviser agreement payments, salary offsets, lease payments and marketing commissions.

3. The physicians Jose Roel Maldonado, MD, a family medicine physician, and Eduardo Carlos Canova, MD, an internal medicine specialist, allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in the scheme for services that weren't rendered. Other payments were made contingent on the number of lab tests referred. One of the indicted providers increased referrals from 20 to 30 per day after the lab threatened to end payments without more referrals, according to the Justice Department.

4. Reliable Labs was converted into a physician-owned lab, and ownership opportunities were offered only to physicians who referred a certain number of lab tests, the indictment alleges. Some of the physician owners allegedly received advanced disbursements to secure future referrals as well.

5. Dr. Maldonado received $400,000 in kickbacks for ordering $4 million worth of lab tests, and Dr. Canova received more than $300,00 in kickbacks for ordering $12 million worth of lab tests, the Justice Department alleges.

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