RICHMOND, Va. -- A Texas doctor agreed to pay more than $200,000 to settle allegations brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas that she violated the False Claims Act by taking kickbacks from True Health Diagnostics in exchange for referring labs to the blood-testing company.
True Health Diagnostics is a bankrupt Texas-based blood-testing company with a massive lab in downtown Richmond.
Dr. Bibi Tasleyma Sattar, and her practice, Oakmont Wellness Center, PA, sent Medicare patients to a company owned by her parents, Onsite Draw Station, Inc. (ODS), for blood draws for diagnostic testing at True Health, according to federal investigators.
The government said she then received a $25 processing and handling fee from True Health, otherwise known as a kickback, for every Medicare patient she referred to True Health for blood diagnostic testing.
"Dr. Sattar’s decision to order these laboratory tests was based in part on True Health’s payment of 'process and handling fees' to ODS, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas, said in a press release.
In connection with this scheme, Sattar's parents as well as the former Vice President for Sales at True Health, Jeffrey Paul Cornwell, otherwise known as "Boomer," were indicted by a federal grand jury on December 11, 2019.
If convicted, the Sattars and Cornwell each face up to five years in federal prison.
The feds allege Boomer would receive money for getting a high number of blood tests referred to the two companies.
It's illegal to receive kickbacks for sending blood tests because financial incentives could corrupt medical decisions.
Hundreds of Richmond-based employees for HDL and True Health lost their jobs as a result of the bankruptcies.
True Health is currently under federal investigation for an alleged scheme to defraud a taxpayer-funded federal health care program and reap "ill-gotten profits."