Alere faces DOJ probe over billing

Federal investigators subpoenaed Waltham, Mass.-based Alere, requesting more information about the diagnostic testing company's billing practices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Department's subpoena asked for information about the company's process of collecting co-payments from patients, as well as claims submitted to Medicare on the patients' behalf. Investigators are also examining whether the company delivered items of value to physicians who ordered testing specifically from Alere.

Alere received a second subpoena regarding the billing practices of a Texas-based laboratory. Company officials said it believes the "matter is not material," according to the WSJ.

Investigations come after Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories shared plans to acquire Alere for approximately $5 billion in February. The transaction has yet to close.

In March, Alere said it was under federal investigation for its business practices in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The company has until August to file its earnings or risk defaulting on its debt and losing its place on the New York stock exchange.

This month, Alere officials said it would recall devices that produced erroneous readings on how quickly patients' blood clotted while on medication. The company is facing at least one lawsuit relating to the device, according to the WSJ report.

Officials also said that the company would revise its earnings for the past three years citing that its internal investigation is likely to find "material weakness" in the company's internal controls, according to the report.

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