United Health Care filed suit against urine-testing business Sky Toxicology, claiming it lost $50 million from unnecessary drug tests.
Sky Toxicology had an agreement with addiction treatment businesses including sober homes. The treatment providers would invest in Sky Toxicology and would receive money from Sky each month in exchange for sending their treatment clients to get drug tests at Sky labs.
United alleges that Sky’s treatment center investors would only receive money from Sky if they kept sending clients to Sky for drug testing. As soon as the testing referrals stopped, the payments from Sky would stop. United further stated that Sky billed the patients’ insurance companies for the drug tests, so each patient referral meant more money for Sky.
United alleges that this was a “kickback” arrangement, and that it was illegal under Florida and federal law. Without commenting on this case, we are skeptical of almost any arrangement that allows financial benefits to be shared among those engaged in the delivery component services that are provided in the recovery setting.
This is not the first time Sky Toxicology has been sued by an insurance company. Cigna also sued Sky last year. It is clear that insurance companies have recognized the kickback issue and are going to do what they can to keep their costs down.
We will watch this case and keep you updated on any new developments. If you have other questions about drug testing or related legal issues, please contact Weiner & Thompson, P.A., the lawyers to Florida’s recovery provider community.