Kickbacks in the healthcare industry are pernicious because of their potential to subvert medical decision-making and to increase healthcare costs. In addition to pursuing improper payments by drug manufacturers, the department resolved other schemes involving the willful solicitation or payment of illegal remuneration to induce the purchase of a good or service paid for by a federal health care program.
For example, mail-order diabetic testing supply company Arriva Medical LLC and its parent, Alere Inc., agreed to pay $160 million to settle allegations that Arriva paid kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries by providing them “free” or “no cost” diabetic testing glucometers and by routinely waiving or not making reasonable efforts to collect their copayments for glucometers and diabetic testing supplies. In another example, the department resolved its claims against pain management clinics and urine drug testing (UDT) laboratories owned and operated by Daniel McCollum for paying unlawful kickbacks to providers to induce their referrals of urine drug tests, obtaining default judgments against the clinics and laboratories totaling more than $140 million and a $9 million civil consent judgment against McCollum.
Electronic health records (EHR) technology vendor Athenahealth Inc. paid $18.25 million to resolve allegations that it invited customers and prospective customers to lavish all-expense-paid sporting, entertainment, and recreational events to generate sales of its EHR product. Generic pharmaceutical manufacturers Taro, Sandoz, and Apotex paid over $400 million to resolve allegations that they paid and received compensation prohibited by the Anti-Kickback Statute through arrangements on price, supply and allocation of customers with other pharmaceutical manufacturers as part of a conspiracy to fix the price of certain generic drugs.
Other matters relating to kickback violations involved psychiatric hospitals and a substance abuse treatment facility (Oglethorpe Inc.), home health care agencies (BAYADA), hospitals (Akron General Health System, Texas Heart Hospital of the Southwest LLP, and Prime Healthcare Services), pharmaceutical companies (Biogen Inc.), diagnostic testing (Alliance Family of Companies LLC) and medical devices (Merit Medical Systems Inc).
The United States Department of Justice obtained more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021. The government paid out $237 million during that period to the individuals who exposed fraud and false claims by filing qui tam actions.
If you have information regarding false claims having been submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, other federal health care programs, or to other federal agencies/programs, and the information is not publically known and no actions have been taken by the government with regard to recovering the false claims, you should promptly consult with a False Claims Act attorney (also known as qui tam attorneys) in your U.S. state who may investigate the basis of your False Claims Act allegations and who may also assist you in bringing a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the United States, if appropriate, for which you may be entitled to receive a portion of the recovery received by the U.S. government.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with qui tam lawyers (False Claims Act lawyers) in your U.S. state who may assist you with a False Claims Act lawsuit.
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