Multiple labs, owner charged in alleged scheme to profit from unnecessary testing

The Justice Department filed a complaint against Patrick Britton-Harr and several laboratory companies he owns for allegedly submitting claims to Medicare for tests that were not ordered by providers, not medically necessary and sometimes never performed. 

Five things to know: 

1. According to the complaint, Mr. Britton-Harr owned and operated Provista Health and other corporate entities that offered COVID-19 tests to nursing homes as a way to bill Medicare for various respiratory pathogen panel tests. 

2. Prosecutors allege that the RPP tests were not medically necessary because the beneficiaries had no symptoms of a respiratory illness and because the tests were for uncommon respiratory pathogens.

3. According to the complaint, Mr. Britton-Harr and Provista submitted claims for PRP tests that were never ordered by physicians. Prosecutors said multiple physicians denied ordering the thousands of PRP tests for which Mr. Britton-Harr and Provista allegedly submitted claims to Medicare listing one of these physicians as the ordering provider. 

4. The Justice Department also alleges that Mr. Britton-Harr and Provista submitted claims to Medicare for RPP tests that were never performed, including more than 300 claims that stated that the nasal swab test sample was supposedly collected from the beneficiary on a date after he or she had died.  

5. The claims in the complaint are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.


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