In New Jersey, a U.S. attorney has put laboratory sales reps on notice that they can be prosecuted for violating federal anti-kickback laws and sent to prison. On January 18, Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, announced the sentencing of Michael J. Zarrelli, of Berkeley Heights, N.J., formerly a sales representative with the now- defunct Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, N.J. Zarrelli, 50 years old, had earlier pled guilty to two counts of conspiring to bribe a doctor and money laundering. He was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison. He must also forfeit $247,264, the amount of money he received from BLS.
MORE ON: Lab Rep Sentenced
In statements about the case, federal officials said the doctors bribed by Zarrelli generated more than $400,000 in lab test referrals to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services. Zarrelli’s guilty plea and sentencing brings to 41 the number of individuals convicted in the BLS case. This includes 27 physicians. Sales reps working for lab companies that chose to loosely interpret federal anti-kickback laws are now on notice that they face the possibility of a criminal conviction for their part in implementing schemes that involve illegal inducements to physicians in exchange for referrals of Medicare patients.
MONTEFIORE, QUEST TO COLLABORATE
On Jan. 27, Montefiore Health System of New York City and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated announced a lab testing agreement. In the press release, the two parties stated, “Quest will perform a portion of low complexity diagnostic tests at its Teterboro, N.J., lab facility. The remainder of the laboratory testing will continue to be done at Montefiore hospitals under the direction of the Montefiore and Einstein Department of Pathology.” This describes an arrangement where Montefiore is outsourcing some of its routine, non-time-sensitive testing to Quest Diagnostics while continuing to manage its own inpatient laboratories. Montefiore operates 10 hospitals and 200 outpatient sites.
- Krista Tinsley is leaving her position as Executive Director at ProPath, the regional pathology group based in Dallas, Texas, as of Feb. 6. Tinsley served at ProPath for almost 23 years. She formerly worked at AmeriTrust Texas.
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… a new company that is putting the supply and demand for donor blood products online. BloodBuy, of Dallas, Texas, is reportedly helping its first hospital customers pay as much as 27% less for needed blood products.
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Look for the next briefing on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.