(8/29/2019) — Dr. Gregory Sampognaro, the Monroe doctor who will be paying a settlement to the Department of Justice over kick-back allegations, released a statement to the media today.
In the statement, Dr. Sampognaro says the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, but says his legal team felt it would be cheaper than fighting the allegations in court.
Below is the full statement from Dr. Sampognaro:
I have had the privilege of serving patients in our community for more than 20 years. Recently, local news media outlets have released an article regarding me without once reaching out to me for a statement. I want to set the record straight.
To be clear: This was purely a civil issue and the fact that I settled is not an admission of wrongdoing. I chose to settle because it was far less expensive than the cost of my legal team fighting it in federal court. The actual amount of money my practice received from Natural Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC) was far less than the settlement amount.
I want you, my community, to have the facts and full story. In 2012, My practice became involved with Natural Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC) because it was providing a cutting edge genetic testing service, with similar testing now considered the standard of care in many patient situations. At the time we were most interested in Plavix metabolism with my patients’ best interest in mind.
Also of interest to us was NMTC’s offer to become part of a national research registry that promised to provide profiles of my patients and practice against national experience. NMTC paid modest fees for the practice’s overhead cost for inputting data into the registry. This was a national registry and many physicians across the country were involved and compensated in the same fashion, including other physicians in our community.
At no time was my practice involved in billing for the genetic testing to Medicare nor did the practice ever receive any such funds from Medicare in this matter, and the settlement with the government was many multiples of the amount of money paid to the practice by NMTC. I fully cooperated with the government’s investigation of NMTC.
Although I fully disagreed with the government’s position, they ultimately offered a settlement that was substantially below my projected costs of taking my litigation against the government. I decided to put this matter behind me so I could focus on providing the best care to my patients, as I have done over the past 20 years.
I would like to thank everyone for their support, thoughts and prayers.Greg Sampognaro, MD
LOUISIANA — One local doctor is now having to pay over $500,000 to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle kick-back allegations related to a genetic testing lab in the Seattle area.
According to a press release from the DOJ, Dr. Gregory Sampognaro of Monroe, Louisiana, Dr. Warren Strickland and Dr. Isabella Strickland of Huntsville, Alabama, and an Alabama cardiac center have agreed to pay more than $1.1 million to resolve the allegations.
According to the settlement agreements, the doctors allegedly accepted payments from Natural Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC) in return for ordering genetic tests from NMTC, which NMTC then billed to Medicare. The scheme was alleged to be in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the civil Flase Claims Act.
Dr. Gregory Sampognaro will pay exactly $519,750 to resolve the government’s allegations.
The matter was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The settlements were negotiated by Assistant United States Attorneys Kayla Stahman and Ashley Burns.