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Drugmakers take Biosimilar Case to Supreme Ct.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday considered a dispute between rival drug companies that could affect how quickly life-saving generic medicines are available to the public.

The case before the justices involves the cutting-edge field of biologics – drugs made from living cells instead of chemicals. The drugs have led to major advances in treating cancer and other diseases, but often come with a massive price tag.

A 2010 law allows cheaper generic versions known as biosimilars to be produced after a 12-year exclusive run for the original.

At issue is whether companies that make biosimilars must tack on an additional six months after gaining federal approval before they can sell the drugs. The extra time can mean billions of dollars in additional sales of original drugs before biosimilars enter the market.

Several of the justices seemed to side with California-based Amgen, which claims that rival Sandoz did not wait long enough before giving notice of its near-copy of Amgen’s cancer drug Neupogen.

“We are being asked to interpret very technical provisions that I find somewhat ambiguous and I’m operating in a field I know nothing about,” Justice Stephen Breyer said at one point during the 70-minute argument. “But it’s going to have huge implications for the future.”

The dispute involves the drug Zarxio, an alternative that Sandoz developed to compete with Neupogen that sells for about 15 percent less than the original product. The drug helps boost red blood cells in cancer patients.

Amgen sued Sandoz for patent infringement, claiming among other things that Sandoz violated the 2010 Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. That law requires biosimilar makers to give a six-month notice of sales to rivals.

A federal appeals court ruled in 2015 that the notice can’t take place until after biosimilar makers gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Sandoz, a unit of Swiss drug giant Novartis, says that reading of the law is wrong, and unfairly gives an additional six months of exclusive sales to the original drugmaker.

“That ruling will wrongly delay the marketing of every biosimilar,” Sandoz’s lawyer Deanne Maynard told the justices. She said Congress “would not have extended the 12-year exclusivity period in such a bizarre way.”

But Justice Anthony Kennedy said it seems like the time has to start running from the date the biosimilar is licensed. And Chief Justice John Roberts said the original drugmaker would have trouble bringing a patent infringement case without knowing the specifics of the biosimilar.

“We don’t even know what this thing is,” he said.

The justices had fewer questions for Amgen’s attorney, Seth Waxman. He argued that until the FDA determines the type of compound it’s approving and what it can be used for “you can’t give notice of anything.”

A ruling is expected by the end of June.

Uber Engineer Suicide to Test Psyche Claim Law

Joseph Thomas thought he had it made when he landed a $170,000 job as a software engineer at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters last year. But his time at Uber turned into a personal tragedy, one that will compel the ride-hailing company to answer questions before a Workers Compensation Judge about its aggressive work culture, and may be a test of limits on psychiatric claims in California.

Always adept with computers, the news story in the San Francisco Chronicle says that Joseph Thomas worked his way up the ladder at tech jobs in his native Atlanta, then at LinkedIn in Mountain View, where he was a senior site reliability engineer. He turned down an offer from Apple to go to Uber, because he felt he could grow more with the younger company and was excited about the chance to profit from stock options when it went public.

But at Uber, Thomas struggled in a way he’d never experienced in over a decade in technology. He worked long hours. He told his father and his wife that he felt immense pressure and stress at work, and was scared he’d lose his job. They urged him to see a psychiatrist. He told the doctor he was having panic attacks, trouble concentrating and near-constant anxiety. All suggested that he leave his job, but he was adamant that he could not.

“It’s hard to explain, but he wasn’t himself at all,” said his wife Zecole Thomas. “He’d say things like, ‘My boss doesn’t like me.’ His personality changed totally; he was horribly concerned about his work, to the point it was almost unbelievable. He was saying he couldn’t do anything right.”

One day in late August, Zecole came home from dropping their boys off at school. Joseph was sitting in his car in the garage. She got into the passenger seat to talk to him. Joseph had shot himself. He died in the hospital two days later, a week before he would have turned 34.

His father and widow are convinced that the work environment and stress at Uber triggered his suicide. Zecole Thomas has filed a workers’ compensation claim seeking to hold Uber accountable for her husband’s mental decline. Medical records from two East Bay psychiatrists he visited in the weeks before his suicide show that he reported job-related “high anxiety,” panic attacks, difficulty concentrating and insomnia.

Uber denied the benefits claim through its insurance carrier. In California, Labor Code 3208.3 (d)  provides that workers’ compensation does not cover psychiatric injuries until after six months of employment. Joseph Thomas had worked slightly less than five months at Uber when he killed himself.

But there is an exception to the six-month rule. It does not apply “if the psychiatric injury is caused by a sudden and extraordinary employment condition.”

San Francisco attorney Richard Richardson, who represents Zecole Thomas and her sons, said Thomas’ situation may be one of those exceptions. This case will no doubt be closely watched since it has high media attention in Silicon Valley circles.

Uber’s work culture has come under scrutiny after explosive revelations about the world’s most valuable startup. In February, software engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post about sexual harassment and sexism at Uber and said its human resources department ignored complaints.

At least three former employees have filed lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or verbal abuse from Uber managers, according to the New York Times, which said other current and former employees were also considering legal action.

Even early investors Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor posted an open letter to Uber blasting it for “a culture plagued by disrespect, exclusionary cliques, lack of diversity, and tolerance for bullying and harassment of every form.”

Uber said it took the allegations seriously and hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate its workplace for issues of sexism, diversity and inclusion. That report is pending.

California Heads to Single Payer Health Care – Again

A proposal considered by California lawmakers would substantially remake the health care system by eliminating insurance companies and guaranteeing coverage for everyone.

After more than two hours of debate, the Senate Health Committee cleared the State’s latest attempt at adopting universal health care despite key concerns as to how the system will be paid for.

Senate Bill 562 passed the Senate Health Committee 5-1. It now advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee to face tough questions about how Californians would fund a single-payer health care system.

The legislation would create a single-payer health care system, provide health insurance to all California residents regardless of immigration status and allow state regulators to negotiate drug costs with the pharmaceutical industry. Under SB 562, every one of the 39 million residents would be eligible to receive all covered benefits without deductibles or co-payments. Users would be able to choose from any provider signed up for the government-run system.

The program would be managed by a 9-member board appointed by the Legislature and governor, as well as a 22-member public advisory committee. The board would be tasked with securing providers, negotiating reimbursement prices and establishing standards for “safe, therapeutic care for all residents of the state.”

Currently, 56 percent of Californians obtain health care through their employer, while 39 percent are enrolled in some form of Medi-Cal or Medicare. The cost of California’s health care is staggering: in 2016, health care expenditures totaled more than $367 billion.

Critics say the plan is a “job-killer” and have questioned the timing of transforming the state’s health care system with Congress also plotting large-scale health care reforms.

“It’s an inherently flawed system lacking competition and important cost-containment mechanisms which will result in lower quality and higher cost health care for all Californians,” testified Karen Sarkissian of the California Chamber of Commerce. “It should be called Medi-Cal for all.”

The health insurance sector has predictably lined up against the bill, including Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California.

Gov. Brown also expressed skepticism last month about how the single-payer system would be funded and implemented.

Supporters will need to figure out how to comply with California’s Proposition 98 if they want to raise taxes to pay for universal health care. Proposition 98 requires 40 percent of revenues from new taxes to go to education. They will also have to attain a federal waiver in order to receive federal health care support. Lara said if the waiver is denied, he has identified other ways around the denial – including a potential lawsuit.

No state currently has a single-payer system, but California lawmakers have been kicking around the idea for decades. Voters rejected a universal health care initiative in 1994 and five separate bills have been proposed since 2003, including a 2007 effort vetoed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Press “Print” for New Knee Meniscus

A cartilage-mimicking material created by researchers at Duke University may one day allow surgeons to 3-D print replacement knee parts that are custom-shaped to each patient’s anatomy.

Human knees come with a pair of built-in shock absorbers called the menisci. These ear-shaped hunks of cartilage, nestled between the thigh and shin bones, cushion every step we take. But a lifetime of wear-and-tear – or a single wrong step during a game of soccer or tennis – can permanently damage these key supports, leading to pain and an increased risk of developing arthritis.

According to the report in Medical News Today, the hydrogel-based material the researchers developed is the first to match human cartilage in strength and elasticity while also remaining 3-D-printable and stable inside the body. To demonstrate how it might work, the researchers used a $300 3-D printer to create custom menisci for a plastic model of a knee.

“We’ve made it very easy now for anyone to print something that is pretty close in its mechanical properties to cartilage, in a relatively simple and inexpensive process,” said Benjamin Wiley, an associate professor of chemistry at Duke and author on the paper, which appears online in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

After we reach adulthood, the meniscus has limited ability to heal on its own. Surgeons can attempt to repair a torn or damaged meniscus, but often it must be partially or completely removed. Available implants either do not match the strength and elasticity of the original cartilage, or are not biocompatible, meaning they do not support the growth of cells to encourage healing around the site.

Recently, materials called hydrogels have been gaining traction as a replacement for lost cartilage. Hydrogels are biocompatible and share a very similar molecular structure to cartilage: if you zoom in on either, you’ll find a web of long string-like molecules with water molecules wedged into the gaps.

But researchers have struggled to create recipes for synthetic hydrogels that are equal in strength to human cartilage or that are 3-D-printable.

“The current gels that are available are really not as strong as human tissues, and generally, when they come out of a printer nozzle they don’t stay put – they will run all over the place, because they are mostly water,” Wiley said.

Feichen Yang, a graduate student in Wiley’s lab and author on the paper, experimented with mixing together two different types of hydrogels – one stiffer and stronger, and the other softer and stretchier – to create what is called a double-network hydrogel. “The two networks are woven into each other,” Yang said. “And that makes the whole material extremely strong.”

3-D printing of other custom-shaped implants, including hip replacements, cranial plates, and even spinal vertebrae, is already practiced in orthopedic surgery. These custom implants are based on virtual 3-D models of a patient’s anatomy, which can be obtained from computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Meniscus implants could also benefit from 3-D printing’s ability to create customized and complex shapes, the researchers say. “Shape is a huge deal for the meniscus,” Wiley said. “This thing is under a lot of pressure, and if it doesn’t fit you perfectly it could potentially slide out, or be debilitating or painful.”

“A meniscus is not a homogenous material,” Yang added. “The middle is stiffer, And the outside is a bit softer. Multi-material 3-D printers let you print different materials in different layers, but with a traditional mold you can only use one material.”

In a simple demonstration, Yang took a CT scan of a plastic model of a knee and used the information from the scan to 3-D print new menisci using his double network hydrogel. The whole process, from scan to finished meniscus, took only about a day, he says.

“This is really a young field, just starting out,” Wiley said. “I hope that demonstrating the ease with which this can be done will help get a lot of other people interested in making more realistic printable hydrogels with mechanical properties that are even closer to human tissue.”

Everest Elected to WCIRB Governing Committee

Everest National Insurance Company has been elected to the Governing Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) of California.

The WCIRB Governing Committee is responsible for setting policy and overseeing the management of the affairs of the WCIRB. This election by Everest’s peer members of the WCIRB is for a three year term.

Commenting on the recent election to the WCIRB Governing Committee Mike Mulray, Chief Underwriting Officer of the Everest Insurance North America insurance companies said “Everest has been committed to workers and employers of the state of California as a leading underwriter of workers compensation insurance in the state for nearly two decades. We appreciate the opportunity to give back by sharing our voice on important topics and issues relevant to the California market. We look forward to working closely with Bill Mudge and his team at the WCIRB as well as with the rest of the committee members.”

The WCIRB membership is comprised of all companies licensed to transact workers’ compensation insurance in California, over 400 member companies in total.

The Governing Committee is represented by twelve members: seven private insurers; State Compensation Insurance Fund; and four public members – two representing insured employers and two representing organized labor.

Except for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, insurer members are elected for three-year terms by the membership at the Annual Meeting, while public members are appointed for two-year terms by the Insurance Commissioner.

Everest Re Group, Ltd. is a Bermuda holding company that operates through a number of subsidiaries. Everest National Insurance Company and Everest Security Insurance Company provide property and casualty insurance to policyholders in the U.S. Everest Indemnity Insurance Company offers excess and surplus lines insurance in the U.S.

Prime Healthcare Fraud Trial Set for Feb 2018

Ontario California based Prime Healthcare Services and its nonprofit arm, Prime Healthcare Foundation, have faced multiple lawsuits along with angry employee unions in communities where it works or is taking over hospitals.

Federal prosecutors have intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against Prime Healthcare Services Inc. and the system’s CEO that alleges emergency department physicians were pressured to admit patients who did not need inpatient care, according to the Justice Department.

The lawsuit targets 14 hospitals owned by Prime in California. The whistleblower lawsuit was brought by Karen Berntsen, the former director of quality and risk management at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, who estimated that improper short-stay admissions accounted for more than $50 million in false claims.

Most of these hospitals are in Southern California, including Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Encino Hospital Medical Center, Sherman Oaks Hospital and Huntington Beach Hospital.

The suit accuses Prime of engaging in a “systematic practice” of pushing physicians to increase the number of inpatient admissions for Medicare beneficiaries who go to the emergency departments at Prime hospitals, regardless of whether it is medically necessary.

The FBI began investigating Prime Healthcare in 2011, shortly after the whistleblower lawsuit against the organization was filed.

In January 2017, the federal court denied Prime’s motion to dismiss, holding that the government had alleged sufficient facts to support its false claims case against Prime. The trial is now set for February 2018.

Prime owns and operate 43 acute-care hospitals across the country. Since its founding in 2001, Prime has steadily scooped up troubled hospitals, turning them around by negotiating better rates from insurers, adding profitable service lines and implementing aggressive billing tactics, among other strategies.

But in 2015 Prime pulled out of a deal to buy six financially struggling hospitals in California, with those hospitals facing bankruptcy.

Prime told the LA Times that California’s attorney general put “impossible” conditions on the sale, which caused them to back out. The target hospitals were St. Vincent Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center in L.A. County and four in Northern California: O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach, near Half Moon Bay..

Prime has also been tangled in labor disputes for years with the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which has publicized a variety of allegations against the company.

Employer WC Lobbyists Head to DC

A business coalition has hired Littler Mendelson to lobby on workers’ compensation programs, in what appears to be the controversial state-level advocacy group’s first foray into national politics.

The Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation promotes state legislation that permits employers to opt-out of benefit programs for injured workers. The ARAWC now seeks a voice in Washington, according to a lobbying registration form filed by the management law firm Littler Mendelson.

The lobbying activity follows interest in 2015-2016 from Democratic lawmakers and the Labor Department in bolstering federal oversight of state-run workers’ comp programs. Texas is currently the only state that allows businesses to exit the state-run system and create their own benefits program for injured employees. The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a similar law in that state as unconstitutional in 2016.

If the ARAWC and Littler Mendelson are lobbying the administration to cease investigating state plans, “it raises our level of concern about how responsible the Department of Labor is going to be about the concerns of working people,” Rick Levy, secretary-treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, told Bloomberg BNA.

“If it’s true, the idea that now these corporations are potentially intervening in the Department of Labor on issues of injured workers is certainly of grave concern to us,” he said. The union official was not aware of how much progress the DOL has made in investigating state gaps in workers’ comp coverage.

A DOL spokesperson wasn’t immediately able to provide detail on the status of the agency’s probe into state workers’ comp plans, and whether it has continued after President Donald Trump took office. The agency’s pre-Trump policy initiatives await direction from a new labor secretary, as the nominee to lead the agency, Alexander Acosta, has yet to receive a vote from the full Senate.

The ARAWC argues on its website that giving employers the option to exit the state government system improves medical outcomes for injured employees, facilitates better communication between workers and businesses, and provides for a more efficient court process.

The registration form filed by Littler Mendelson describes interest in lobbying on labor and health issues, without providing further detail. Littler Mendelson shareholder Ilyse Schuman is the only registered lobbyist. Schuman, who also co-chair’s the firm’s Workplace Policy Institute, held senior roles in the Senate labor committee’s GOP office from 2001 to 2008.

Physical Therapists File Suit Against One Call

The Independent Physical Therapists of California (iPTCA), is a non-profit association of California physical therapists dedicated to advocating for physical therapists and their patient.

Last month it announced that it has filed suit against One Call Medical, Inc, D/B/A One Call Care Management, and Align Networks in California state Superior Court- San Diego.

The Complaint in this unfair competition lawsuit alleges that iPTCA and its non-contracted members have suffered injury and lost money or property as the result of numerous unlawful, unfair, and deceptive or fraudulent business acts and practices engaged in by the defendants, which it alleges operate as unlicensed ‘middlemen’ between Workers’ Compensation payers and injured workers and their rehabilitation providers.

Dr. Paul Gaspar, DPT, President of iPTCA summarized the Complaint “The Complaint details numerous allegedly unlawful activities by the defendants, particularly a referral scheme where defendants demand that physical therapists accede to significant discounts or potentially lose the ability to provide physical therapy services to large numbers of injured workers.”

For example, the suit alleges that “OCM has developed an opaque, unfair and illegal scheme whereby OCM maximizes the compensation it receives from its payor clients by referring injured workers to those of its contracted health care professionals who accede to the deepest discount. This system is nothing like a traditional “Preferred Provider Organization” (“PPO”) where the PPO contracts with health care providers, payors let their beneficiaries choose to receive services from any of the health care providers who contract with the PPO, and then the payors pay the claims submitted by those contracted providers. OCM does not offer health care professionals the opportunity to be listed in a directory. Rather, OCM solicits (or extorts) deep discounts of a specified amount from its contracted health care professionals as an inducement for it to send them a specified number of additional referrals. “

iPTCA claims to have communicated its concerns regarding Defendants’ practices with the California Department of Insurance, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, numerous state legislators, and leadership of other healthcare professional associations.

On April 17, One Call Medical Inc.,filed a Notice of Removal in the United States District Court, Southern District of California, case 17CV773 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1441 and 1446, asserting original federal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. section 1332(a), to effect the removal of the action, which was originally commenced in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego.

iPTCA alleges that it is a corporation organized under the laws of California with its principal place of business in Encinitas, California. One Call Medical, Inc. is a New Jersey corporation .with its principal place of business in Jacksonville, Florida. And Defendant Align Networks, LLC is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Jacksonville, Florida.

One Call claims that the federal courts have original jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) because the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and Plaintiff and Defendants are citizens of different States. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).1111

At this time no other substantiative responsive pleading’s have been filed in the federal court action. `

Encino Dermatologist Settles Fraud Claim for $2.7 Mil

The owner of The Skin Cancer Medical Center in Encino has paid the United States nearly $2.7 million to resolve allegations that he submitted bills to Medicare for Mohs micrographic surgeries for skin cancers that were medically unnecessary.

Dr. Norman A. Brooks, M.D., a dermatologist and surgeon, paid the $2,681,400 settlement on April 10.

The settlement, which was finalized on March 31, resolved allegations in a lawsuit brought by a former employee of The Skin Cancer Medical Center. The settlement was announced when prosecutors learned that United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez had unsealed and dismissed the complaint that was filed under the False Claims Act.

The lawsuit alleged that Brooks falsely diagnosed skin cancer in some of his patients so that he could perform, and bill for, Mohs surgeries.

Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical procedure for removing certain types of skin cancers in specific areas of the body, including the face. The surgery is performed in stages during which the surgeon removes a single layer of tissue which undergoes a microscopic evaluation. The surgeon performs additional stages, if necessary, until all of the cancer is removed.

Given the complexity and time required to perform the procedure, Mohs yields a higher Medicare reimbursement than other procedures used to remove skin lesions.

As part of the settlement, Brooks entered into a three-year Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. Under the Integrity Agreement, Brooks will establish and maintain a compliance program that includes, among other things, mandated training for Brooks and his employees and review procedures for claims submitted to Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The settlement resolves allegations made in a lawsuit filed by former Brooks employee Janet Burke under the qui tam, or “whistleblower,” provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private parties to sue on behalf of the government and receive a share of any recovery. For her role in the case, Ms. Burke will receive $482,652.

In settling the case, Brooks did not admit liability in the matter.

The matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The settlement was negotiated by Assistant United States Attorney Donald W. Yoo of the Civil Fraud Section.

The settlement resolved United States ex rel. Burke v. Norman A. Brooks, M.D., Inc. et al., CV14-6735.

26 Charged in $40 Million Comp Fraud Scheme

The Orange County District Attorney has filed charges against 26 doctors, pharmacists and business owners in a crackdown on an alleged $40 million workers’ compensation fraud that involved overbilling for unnecessary compound creams and urine tests. The defendants billed workers’ compensation insurers for $40 million and collected $23 million, according to the California Department of Insurance, which led the investigation.

The Kings are accused of pocketing more than $18.5 million from at least 27 insurance companies. Tanya Moreland King, 37, and her husband Christopher King, 38, both of Beverly Hills, own medical billing and medical management companies Monarch Medical Group, Inc., King Medical Management, Inc. and One Source Laboratoires, Inc. The defendants are accused of masterminding a complex insurance fraud scheme of recruiting doctors and pharmacists to prescribe unnecessary treatment for workers’ compensation insurance patients.

Irvine pharmacists Charles Bonner, RPh., 56, and Mervyn Miller, RPh., 66, both owners of Steven’s Pharmacy, are accused of conspiring with Christopher and Tanya King by selling more than $1 million in compound creams that were not FDA approved nor have known medical benefits.

The Kings are accused of making oral and written agreements with doctors across the state paying them each time they prescribed a compound cream or oral medication or ordered a urine drug test. The doctors or the companies connected to them are accused of labeling the payments “marketing expenses” in an attempt to conceal the kickbacks. The Kings are accused of rewarding doctors who provided higher volume by paying for office technicians.

Prosecutors also accuse the Kings of working with pharmacist and co-defendant Charles Bonner, owner of Stevens Pharmacy in Costa Mesa, to manufacture a variety of creams with unknown effects from Steven’s Pharmacy that were not FDA approved. The Kings purchased the creams for between $15 and $40 per tube. These products were then billed to patients’ workers’ compensation insurance carriers for between $250 and $700 dollars per tube. Tanya King is accused of recruiting physicians to participate in this scam by paying a flat $50 rate or a share in the profits.

They allegedly purchased repackaged oral pain medications from two companies: NuCare Pharmaceuticals in Orange and A-S Medication Solutions in Costa Mesa. Using their company Monarch Medical Group as a cover, the Kings are accused of repackaging meds sent directly to the physicians involved in the scam. As the doctors dispensed the medication, the bar code on the packaging was scanned, notifying the Kings. The Kings are accused of billing workers’ compensation insurance carriers without disclosing the wholesale cost or the fact they had purchased the medication on behalf of the physicians who ultimately prescribed it. Once the Kings received the payment, they are accused of splitting the profits with the prescribing physician based upon a pre-arranged agreement.

The Kings are also accused of providing technical staff to participating physician’s offices through their company One Source Labs. The doctors are accused of ordering unnecessary urine tests, under the guise of verifying patients on workers’ compensation insurance were taking their medications as prescribed. The urine samples were then tested by One Source Lab technicians or the doctors’ staff and billed to the insurance company on behalf of the physicians by King Medical Management. The results were then referred to Pacific Toxicology Laboratory for additional testing, regardless of results. Through their company One Source Labs, the Kings are accused of paying Pacific Toxicology a flat rate of $60 per test and billing the insurance carriers hundreds of dollars per patient.

The following defendants are charged for their part in the fraudulent schemes. The list below may provide an opportunity to determine if there is any teeth in new law (SB 1160) that theoretically bans providers who are charged with medical fraud from collecting liens until the case is concluded.

– Tanya King, 37, Beverly Hills
– Christopher King, 38, Beverly Hills
– Charles Bonner, RPh., 56, Irvine
– Mervyn Miller, RPh., 66, Irvine
– Rafael Chavez, P.A., 53, Apple Valley
– Dr. Jerome Robson, 68, Modesto
– Dr. Eric Schmidt, 63, Santa Rosa
– Dr. Chris Chen, 55, Pleasanton
– Dr. Duke Ahn, 49, Los Alamitos
– Dr. Robert E. Caton, 65, Modesto
– Dr. Ismael Silva Jr., 63, Newport Coast
– Dr. Ismael Geli Silva, 38, Huntington Beach
– Dr. Paul A. Stanton, 54, Victorville
– Dr. William Pistel, 53, Modesto
– Dr. Kevin Park, 49, Buena Park
– Dr. Kourosh Shamlou, 49, Newport Coast
– Dr. Mannie Joel, 67, Pleasanton
– Dr. Parvez Fatteh, 46, Pleasanton
– Dr. Robert Fenton, 68, Ranchos Palos Verdes
– Dr. Michael Henry, 61, Granite Bay
– Dr. Howard Oliver, 70, Long Beach
– Dr. Eduardo T. Lin I, 55, Pleasanton
– Dr. Paul Kaplan, 76, Folsom
– Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, 40, Danville
– Dr. Jonathan Cohen, 57, Modesto
– Dr. John Casey Jr., 65, Modesto