NO “WELCOME MAT” greets visitors to an anatomic pathology (AP) condominium complex. That was certainly true last month when an agent of THE DARK REPORT attempted to visit a lab condo complex in San Antonio, Texas.
Operated by UroPath, LLC, the lab condo complex is located at 7909 Fredericksburg Road in Suite 150. Also in that same office park are the offices and ancillary service facilities for Urology San Antonio, one of the promoters of the AP lab condo scheme.
Entering through a doorway underneath a large UroPath sign, our agent asked to speak to the facility manager to express his interest in the business and to have an impromptu tour. The receptionist was emphatic that no walk-in visitors could ever be accommodated. He would have to make a telephone appointment.
Not Allowed Past The Lobby
Ever resourceful, our agent returned to his car in the parking lot. Using his cell phone, he called the receptionist to make an appointment. After considerable pressure, he was allowed to return and at least meet the facility manager in the reception area. Feigning a busy schedule, the UroPath site manager refused to answer any questions, but did provide her business card and wrote the name and number of the UroPath’s business development representative on the back.
During the time our agent was in the lobby, he observed that there was a hall of doors. Each door had the name of a different urology group’s laboratory on it. He watched as people with lab coats would emerge from one door, walk down the hall, and enter another door.
As a veteran of four decades in the lab industry, our agent made a blunt statement about his visit. “This pathology laboratory condo scheme is mindboggling!” he declared. “I can assume that they have carefully structured this to fit within the boundaries of the law. But is it on the fringe of legal?
Meets Law But Not Intent
“In my view, it violates the intent of anti-kickback and Medicare fraud and abuse statutes,” he continued. “Whenever federal healthcare investigators take a serious look at these laboratory condo arrangements, the fact that they have stretched the intent beyond established norms may drive enforcement action. If that happens, it usually hurts the entire laboratory industry.”
Our agent did relay the news that, during his conversation with the UroPath site manager, he was told that UroPath is building another AP lab condo complex in Dallas. Further, the site manager stated that “there has been an overwhelming response” by the urology profession to the financial benefits of a group owning its own AP laboratory condominium.