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Quest Diagnostics Inc. Message Board

  • bottman20012001 bottman20012001 Mar 1, 2004 8:43 PM Flag

    Freeman & Co.

    In at $80, stock went to $82.76 by Fri 4pm to drop $1 at Mon opening which happened to be 3/1.Did Freeman sell another 30000 shares that effectively occured 3/1 causing the price drop I wonder. Regardless, was relative weakness on an up day when dow closed up 94 points. Opinions?

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    • Hiya ltd,

      >>>I�m sure that � what led to the fine in question; adding a CPT code to a panel or group of analytes (not sure of the exact nature) w/o a provider�s directive, � doesn�t happen anymore. Panels can be created with the acknowledgment of a physician that it is for convenience of ordering � with the monetary sum of the components equaling the panel. <<<

      No argument from me on this point. I agree that aside from the "usual and customary panels" i.e. Lipid, Hepatic Function etc that the physician must agree in writing beforehand to the components before they are placed on the req for usage.

      <<<I�m not sure what you meant by your first sentence, but I�m not saying needles are immune to the anti-kickback statute, I�m challenging your assertion that it happens (other than a rogue rep) and questioning if this is high on the hierarchy of all the possible inferences to the anti-kickback statute. And in regard to you statement about �larger clients receiving kickbacks:� Larger clients are usually composed of several physicians, business manager and other professionals. I�d venture to say that most of these understand that statute, and the fact they are liable for taking any type of kickback.>>>

      The needle example was posed as an example of how violations of the anti-kickback statute are in effect, I am confident that there are more egregious items such as direct payment to the physician for ordering labs and such. With regard to the rogue reps, it may very well happen more often than you think, but that may be due to the fact the mileage will vary among business units. Whereas in yours it never happens, in mine it is possible to occur much more often.

      With many doctor's offices, it is the doctor that runs the show, and their staff may not even be aware of three or four boxes of needles or gloves or tubes every month are coming in from the lab the physician primarily uses.

      <<<You seem to be saying that kickbacks are part of the industry � I�m saying � very few and far between, and done by foolish rogue employees. The stock price for DGX or LH is not going to be victim to this anymore � there will be no more wide-scale compliance issue that stockholders will have to worry about � There, I said it. Any of you Whistleblowers, please come forth. Hell, any Whistleblowers will come forth since it is so damn lucrative.>>>

      I agree that on a totality of the circumstances basis that a few situations here and there may not impact the bottom line, if more situations come to light where a lab is violating the statutes then they may be excluded from the Medicare & Medicaid program for a period of time or altogether. And whilst DGX has only 15-20% of revenues coming from those programs, exclusion can definitely lead to a significant drop in value and lost business for the company. Just offering this as a worst-case possibility, I would hope that something like this doesn't happen again and that everyone learned their lesson in the 90s.

      <<<It�s more than paper. It�s on going compliance training for employees, revamped policies/protocols, overly compliant Compliance officers, well versed corporate attorneys � and a lot more contracts to be signed by providers>>>

      Again your experience may vary from mine. I can say that compliance training I received was a joke, with a mere annual refresher done once a year lasting appx one hour. I do agree with you on the point of the compliance officers, revamped policies, attorneys, and contracts, however.

    • >>>It may be very old news, but the fact remains that it continues to happen.<<<

      I�m sure that � what led to the fine in question; adding a CPT code to a panel or group of analytes (not sure of the exact nature) w/o a provider�s directive, � doesn�t happen anymore. Panels can be created with the acknowledgment of a physician that it is for convenience of ordering � with the monetary sum of the components equaling the panel.


      >>>The counter that the needles is moot, as all of the lab work ordered by the doctor receiving the kickback would be forfeited. It is the larger clients who receive these types of kickbacks, so the amount of money over time can actually come to be quite significant. Not to mention the fines involved.<<<

      I�m not sure what you meant by your first sentence, but I�m not saying needles are immune to the anti-kickback statute, I�m challenging your assertion that it happens (other than a rogue rep) and questioning if this is high on the hierarchy of all the possible inferences to the anti-kickback statute. And in regard to you statement about �larger clients receiving kickbacks:� Larger clients are usually composed of several physicians, business manager and other professionals. I�d venture to say that most of these understand that statute, and the fact they are liable for taking any type of kickback.

      You seem to be saying that kickbacks are part of the industry � I�m saying � very few and far between, and done by foolish rogue employees. The stock price for DGX or LH is not going to be victim to this anymore � there will be no more wide-scale compliance issue that stockholders will have to worry about � There, I said it. Any of you Whistleblowers, please come forth. Hell, any Whistleblowers will come forth since it is so damn lucrative.

      >>With regard to Corporate Integrity, I will concede that on paper indeed it is a great thing, but in practice it simply ain't so.<<

      It�s more than paper. It�s on going compliance training for employees, revamped policies/protocols, overly compliant Compliance officers, well versed corporate attorneys � and a lot more contracts to be signed by providers.

    • >>>David, I agree with the previous poster; this had nothing to do with the Unilab acquisition. The law suit was filed before the acquisition. The company involved was Quest (MetPath-Corning & Damon) - not Unilab. I believe it was only a Unilab rep that blew the whistle ... and got a large commission check.<<<
      So it did involve Unilab, as one of their reps was the one to blow the whistle. Sure it did not happen to Unilab, but nonetheless the fact remains that it was a Unilab rep whom blew the whistle. I'm not sure he got a large commission though, from what I read on the Medicare website the maximum reward for uncovering of fraud was $1,000 (as of 1998, I am not sure if the statute has changed since then).

      >>>This is very old news - a remnant of the 90s LabScam. Hell ... the early part of the time period (in the law suit) was before Safe Harbor was even initiated. And as far as the needles: Many providers use multiple labs and many of them do not keep the supplies (needles) separate. It would be impossible to police anyway. And any rep knowingly providing ANY supplies for a provider's in-house testing is a fool ... it certainly is not worth losing one's job over. Not that the OIG would ever go after these labs for this infringement - I sincerely doubt it. The OIG does not have the resources to go after such a small reward. Their focus is more about the potential millions being billed unnecessarily to Medicare. And I'll go on record saying that the 90s are history. Fines like those will never happen again. Corporate Integrity Programs and its compliance spawn have changed that risk forever<<<
      It may be very old news, but the fact remains that it continues to happen. The counter that the needles is moot, as all of the lab work ordered by the doctor receiving the kickback would be forfeited. It is the larger clients who receive these types of kickbacks, so the amount of money over time can actually come to be quite significant. Not to mention the fines involved.

      With regard to Corporate Integrity, I will concede that on paper indeed it is a great thing, but in practice it simply ain't so.

    • >>>Really? Why was it a Unilab sales rep that maintained counsel during the proceedings? If it was unrelated to Unilab, I doubt Unilab would have been mentioned in the press release.
      <<<

      David, I agree with the previous poster; this had nothing to do with the Unilab acquisition. The law suit was filed before the acquisition. The company involved was Quest (MetPath-Corning & Damon) - not Unilab. I believe it was only a Unilab rep that blew the whistle ... and got a large commission check.

      >>>The only issue that will improve Quest's compliance success is the retention of people who do not break the rules, which is not happening as of this point as evidenced by my earlier note regarding sales reps providing kickbacks to doctor's offices.<<<

      This is very old news - a remnant of the 90s LabScam. Hell ... the early part of the time period (in the law suit) was before Safe Harbor was even initiated. And as far as the needles: Many providers use multiple labs and many of them do not keep the supplies (needles) separate. It would be impossible to police anyway. And any rep knowingly providing ANY supplies for a provider's in-house testing is a fool ... it certainly is not worth losing one's job over. Not that the OIG would ever go after these labs for this infringement - I sincerely doubt it. The OIG does not have the resources to go after such a small reward. Their focus is more about the potential millions being billed unnecessarily to Medicare. And I'll go on record saying that the 90s are history. Fines like those will never happen again. Corporate Integrity Programs and its compliance spawn have changed that risk forever.

    • Really? Why was it a Unilab sales rep that maintained counsel during the proceedings? If it was unrelated to Unilab, I doubt Unilab would have been mentioned in the press release.

      And with regards to Six Sigma... congratulations, spoken like a true corporate tool! But what about the move away from Six Sigma and into Lean Design? The only issue that will improve Quest's compliance success is the retention of people who do not break the rules, which is not happening as of this point as evidenced by my earlier note regarding sales reps providing kickbacks to doctor's offices.

    • What is 6 sigma?

    • Possibly fall out from UHS news today. Look for company to supply the Street with DGX positive bad debt story. Possible bounce coming. Helpful for exec stock option exercises/sales in full swing right now.

      Check out new CEO contract in 10K just filed - no new IBM-like thinking from the Compensation Committee there! 170,000 options at market and shareholders will pay for him to relocate locally if he chooses to...

      Happy Trails!

      x

 
DGX
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