UC San Diego's Eastlake clinic.
UC San Diego’s Eastlake clinic, open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Image via health.ucsd.edu/

 UC San Diego Health has paid nearly $3 million to resolve allegations that it ordered unnecessary genetic testing over nearly four years, which was reimbursed by Medicare, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

The settlement, which contains no determination of liability, stems from allegations that UCSD Health ordered and submitted referrals for medically unnecessary testing between December 2015 to October 2019, in violation of the False Claims Act.

The tests, which were performed by CQuentia Arkansas Labs, CQuentia NGS, and Total Diagnostic II, led to false claims being submitted to Medicare for payment, according to the DOJ.

In a statement, UCSD Health said that according to the settlement announcement, UCSD’s doctors ordered tests from a company that later allegedly made false claims about those orders.

“When UC San Diego Health learned that the Department of Justice had concerns about one of our technology providers, we fully cooperated and promptly resolved the matter,” according to the statement, which said the settlement “provides a prompt resolution that allows us to continue our focus on providing outstanding care for patients.”

Brian Boynton, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said: “Hospitals are the gatekeepers for medical care and are expected to ensure that all services performed at their direction, including genetic tests, are medically appropriate.”

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 11, 2022

–City News Service