April 01, 2012|By Patricia Wen
“… the dark side of this little-known niche of the drug world: Recovering addicts were cash cows for a financial alliance between sober homes and private drug-testing labs. Landlords needed the labs to show they were serious about sobriety, largely to get referrals to fill their rooms. And the labs needed access to lots of indigent substance abusers whose drug-screening tests qualified for lucrative Medicaid reimbursements worth millions of dollars a year.
These business relationships troubled Ahlgren and also drew the scrutiny of prosecutors, who now allege that a number of labs and sober homes engaged in fraud and abuse of Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the poor. On Friday, one major lab agreed to pay $20 million to settle state charges that it improperly billed for testing in sober homes.
Prosecutors have said that, as labs aggressively competed to sign up addicts for testing some resorted to bribing sober home operators for exclusive access to their tenants…” Read more here.