first_imgMolecular Testing Labs, a Vancouver toxicology and genetic testing laboratory, has agreed to pay up to nearly $1.8 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying illegal kickbacks to obtain referrals from government health care insurance programs, the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle announced Wednesday.“The False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute are aimed at making sure taxpayers get value for their money,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a news release. “Those who try to game the system will be held accountable. This settlement sends a clear message that those doing business with government healthcare programs are being scrutinized to ensure they are not engaging in illegal side deals that harm government healthcare systems.”Molecular Testing Labs disagrees with the government’s findings and admits no wrongdoing but agreed to a settlement to avoid continuing legal fees that had exceeded “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Dave DeLong, Molecular Testing Labs’ head of finance and compliance, said in an interview with The Columbian.“The settlement was a way for us to quit spending so much in legal fees and resources and put it behind us,” DeLong said.DeLong said the company cooperated with the government throughout the course of the three-year investigation, providing documents and access to employees.In a written statement to the newspaper, DeLong said, “Like many health care providers subject to government oversight, Molecular chose to enter into a settlement in an effort to put this matter behind us, to end the uncertainty associated with it, and to stop spending our valuable resources on it.last_img