Cigna faces $66M counter lawsuit from Health Diagnostic Laboratory

Lab defends blood tests, seeks millions in unpaid claims

Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. (HDL) has filed a counter lawsuit against Cigna, claiming the insurer owes the lab $66 million for legitimate blood-testing services, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Cigna sued HDL in October, claiming the laboratory billed the insurer "phantom rates" of $84 million, FierceHealthPayer: AntiFraud previously reported. Cigna said the lab allegedly collected no copays or deductibles from patients and billed the insurer for the full cost of the services provided.

HDL's countersuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, defended the lab's tests for their early detection of conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the Times-Dispatch. The lab also accused Cigna of refusing to accept HDL and other small laboratories as in-network providers and of paying HDL less than the amount the lab billed the insurer.

"In taking legal action against Cigna, HDL Inc. seeks to vindicate its rights and stand up to Cigna's repeated attempts to bully smaller, innovative healthcare companies and service providers out of the market," HDL said in a statement to the newspaper.

HDL seeks to have Cigna's lawsuit against the lab dismissed, the Times-Dispatch said. The lab faces a similar lawsuit from Aetna, which seeks "tens of millions in monetary damages" from HDL for "inflated" medical claims. HDL was an out-of-network provider for Aetna customers as well.

In March, HDL agreed to pay the federal government $47 million to settle kickback allegations after an investigation revealed that the company paid doctors $20 in exchange for blood samples.

For more:
read the Richmond Times-Dispatch article

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