A Pennsylvania lab is distancing itself from its former CEO–a Medicare fraudster–as it expands its Medicare-backed services to COVID-19 testing. (No company wants to be associated with their rotten apples.)
MHS Labs in Monroeville received state and federal approval to begin COVID-19 testing despite some questioning the lab’s legitimacy. Former CEO Ravi Reddy pleaded guilty in January to four charges of Medicare fraud. Reddy billed Medicare for at least $127 million in fraudulent billings for which he received kickbacks on, according to prosecutors. He is set to pay $77 million to Medicare and will be sentenced in September. (Reddy is only paying back a fraction of the rewards he reaped from his fraudulent billings.) If found guilty, Reddy could face up to ten years imprisonment for each charge of Medicare fraud.
Because most of MHS Labs’ COVID-19 testing is likely to be on elderly patients, the lab will be filing with Medicare for reimbursement. (Some are wary that there could still be something fishy going on.) The manager of MHS Labs, Erin Fronczek, tried to ease public concerns by stating that all COVID-19 test billings to Medicare will be legitimate and that the lab is not associated with Reddy’s fraudulent money-making practices.
Fronczek also reassured that the primary goal of the labs is the care of its patients. Offering a scientist’s perspective, Fronczek stressed the importance of the testing MHS Labs will be conducting. The COVID-19 test in use has been approved by the FDA and will provide clarity to both the Department of Health and the concerned patients. The lab’s priority is not the Medicare reimbursements they’re set to receive, but providing affordable access to COVID-19 tests during a national pandemic, she said. (Good to know that the facility is now in the hands of someone with the right intentions.)
The lab has been licensed since 1997 and has been certified by state and national regulators. The College of American Pathologists last inspected the lab in 2018 and maintained its accreditation. The state Health Department verifies lab director qualifications, but it does not do background checks, a spokesman said.
Additionally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has provided extensive guidelines for healthcare providers, laboratory professionals, and public health workers on the proper procedures for administering COVID-19 testing. Approved testing facilities have agreed to adhere to these national guidelines.
To locate an approved COVID-19 testing facility, visit https://covidtestingcenters.com/ and search for the nearest location.
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Monroeville lab whose CEO pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud gets approval to do COVID-19 testing,” posted on wtae.com on May 18, 2020.
MONROEVILLE, Pa. — A Monroeville laboratory whose CEO has pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud has received state and federal approval to do COVID-19 antibody testing.
MHS Labs said it began the testing Monday.