Attorney General Tong Announces $1 Million Settlement With Connecticut Addiction Medicine Over Excessive Billing(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong announced today a $1,002,481 settlement with Connecticut Addiction Medicine and its principals Jay Benson, M.D. and Mahboob Aslam, M.D. resolving allegations of excessive billing for urine drug tests.
Connecticut Addiction Medicine is a medical practice that provides behavioral health and addiction medicine services. It has offices in Hartford, Rocky Hill, and additional locations elsewhere in Connecticut.
A joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, after referral by Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) quality assurance investigators, found that between December 2015 and August 2017, Connecticut Addiction Medicine charged and was paid by the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program and Medicare for medically unnecessary urine drug testing. The investigation focused on two types of urine drug testing—a “screen” test performed in office that offers quick but less detailed results, as well as a “confirmation” test which is a more advanced test that is performed by an offsite laboratory. A screen test should be followed by a confirmation test only when a qualified healthcare provider decides the additional test is medically necessary based upon the individual patient’s presentation and history. During the time period in question, Connecticut Addiction Medicine billed the federal and state governments for in-office screen tests while at the same time it automatically ordered and received the more advanced confirmation tests from an independent lab for every patient, for every sample. The investigation determined that a large amount of the in-office screen testing was redundant and not medically necessary because the more advanced confirmation test results were available to Connecticut Addition Medicine at the time of the patient’s treatment.
“Connecticut Addiction Medicine performed unnecessary, redundant tests, resulting in excessive billing that provided no meaningful benefit to their patients. Along with our federal and state partners, the Office of the Attorney General will act aggressively to protect public funds and the integrity of our public healthcare programs,” said Attorney General Tong.
“This settlement returns just over $1 million to the state and federal governments, and underscores the fact that strong oversight is necessary to safeguard the Medicaid program from aberrant billing and claims. We thank the Attorney General and his staff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and DSS quality assurance investigators for their outstanding work on this case,” said DSS Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford.
Anyone with knowledge of suspected fraud or abuse in the public healthcare system is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Section at 860-808-5040 or by email at email@example.com; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 860-258-5986 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Department of Social Services fraud reporting hotline at 1-800-842-2155, online at www.ct.gov/dss/reportingfraud, or by email to email@example.com.
Forensic Fraud Examiner Lisa Bailey, former Forensic Fraud Examiner Lawrence Marini, and Assistant Attorneys General Gregory O’Connell, Karla Turekian, and Jeremy Pearlman, Chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Section assisted the Attorney General in this matter.