Natera: Kentucky AG Investigation Ongoing; Public Records Request Indicates AG Formulating Policies, Official Actions

Published on Feb 06, 2023

A response to a public records request from the Kentucky Attorney General indicates that the office may be formulating policy recommendations in regard to its active criminal investigation of the genetic testing company Natera (NTRA). The Capitol Forum has previously reported that Natera was improperly billing state Medicaid programs for its Horizon genetic test, prompting the Attorney Generals in Georgia and Kentucky to investigate the company.  

The Kentucky Attorney General’s response, which was largely a denial of a recent The Capitol Forum records request, cited several new statutes that had not been cited in previous records requests to the office.  

In particular, the Attorney General withheld records because they constituted “preliminary drafts and notes reflecting the ‘tools which a public employee or officer uses in hammering out official action withing the function of his office.’” 

Some of the requested documents were also denied because they reflected “preliminary recommendations, and preliminary memoranda in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended.” 

While only two new documents had been produced since The Capitol Forum’s previous request, the most recent denial represents a progression in the Attorney General’s investigation. A spokesperson for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office declined to comment for this article, citing the open nature of the investigation. 

This is not the first time that the Kentucky Attorney General has investigated Natera. Several years ago, then-Attorney General Andy Beshear led a multistate coalition that sued the company for fraudulent billing practices for its Panorama test, securing an $11 million national settlement. 

Asked about the investigation, a spokesperson for Natera said that “we are not aware of any inquiry or investigation by Kentucky. In a highly regulated industry such as ours, periodic inquiries are not uncommon.” 

In its most recent quarterly SEC filings on November 9, however, Natera updated language surrounding legal proceedings to indicate that “the Company is responding to ongoing regulatory and governmental investigations, subpoenas, and inquiries, and contesting its current legal matters, but cannot provide any assurance as to the ultimate outcome with respect to any of the foregoing.”