On April 28, 2017, Quest Diagnostics Inc. agreed to pay $6 million to resolve an alleged False Claims Act violation for paying kickbacks to physicians and patients to induce the use of Berkeley HeartLab Inc., a Quest subsidiary, for blood testing services and unnecessary medical tests.  According to the complaint, Berkeley allegedly paid kickbacks to referring physicians disguised as “processing and handling” fees and allegedly paid kickbacks to patients by waiving copayments that certain patients were legally obligated to pay.  Berkeley allegedly made the kickback payments in order to induce physicians and patients to use Berkeley over other laboratories.  The lawsuit was initially filed by a whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  In connection with the case, two other laboratories entered into settlements to resolve similar conduct, and the United States is continuing to pursue claims against the remaining defendants:  Latonya Mallory, the former CEO of Health Diagnostics Laboratory Inc., and the marketing company BlueWave Healthcare Consultants Inc. and its owners, Floyd Calhoun Dent III and Robert Bradford Johnson.  United States ex rel Mayes v. Berkeley HeartLab Inc., No. 09-11-cv-01593 (D.S.C.). DOJ Press Release