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Predictive testing company under fraud investigation

June 12, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A federal investigation of a California-based company that markets predictive genetic tests for patient response to medications, including treatments for opioid dependence, intensified last week with a raid on the company's offices.

STAT reported that agents from the FBI and officers with the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entered the offices of Proove Biosciences and took away boxes of documents. STAT had reported earlier this year that Proove was under investigation, and the FBI has confirmed that the probe involves healthcare fraud.

Some doctors have used Proove's predictive testing technology in an attempt to determine which opioid medications and/or dependence treatments stand the best chance of achieving optimal results. But those numbers apparently have declined amid concern about the actual predictive ability of the tests, as well as reports that some patients have been coerced into the testing and that payment methods to some participating physicians are under scrutiny.

A Maryland physician who spoke with Addiction Professional last year about the Proove technology says he hopes that any investigation won't derail the medical community's capacity to access this area of patient care. "It has helped many of my patients and indeed clarified a lot of the dilemmas we had," says J. Ramsey Farah, MD.  

In conjunction with the June 7 raid in California, authorities also raided the offices of Proove-affiliated doctors in California, Florida and Kentucky.