North American Health Care Inc., its chairman of the board, John Sorenson, and its senior vice president of Reimbursement Analysis, Margaret Gelvezon, have agreed to pay a total of $30 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false claims to government health care programs for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services provided to residents at NAHC’s skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the Department of Justice announced today. Under the settlement agreement, NAHC has agreed to pay $28.5 million. Mr. Sorensen has agreed to pay $1 million and Ms. Gelvezon has agreed to pay $500,000. Read more
U.S. Healthcare Supply LLC and Oxford Diabetic Supply Inc. and the two owners and presidents of those companies have agreed to pay the United States more than $12.2 million to resolve allegations that they violated the federal False Claims Act by using a fictitious entity to make unsolicited telephone calls to Medicare beneficiaries in order to sell them durable medical equipment, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. U.S. Healthcare Supply LLC, based in Milford, New Jersey, has agreed to pay more than $5 million, and Jon P. Letko, its owner and president, has agreed to pay more than $1 million. His brother, Edward J. Letko, the owner and president of Oxford Diabetic Supply Inc., a medical equipment supplier that allegedly also participated in the scheme, has agreed to pay $6 million plus interest. Read more
Ralph J. Cox III, the former chief executive officer of Sumter, South Carolina-based Tuomey Healthcare System, has reached a $1 million settlementfor his involvement in the hospital’s illegal Medicare and Medicaid billings for services referred by physicians with whom the hospital had improper financial relationships. Read more
Regions Bank (Regions) has agreed to pay $52.4 million to the United States to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements, the Department of Justice announced today. Regions is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Read more
Vibra Healthcare LLC (Vibra), a national hospital chain headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, has agreed to $32.7 million, plus interest, to resolve claims that Vibra violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare for medically unnecessary services, the Department of Justice announced today. Read more
Jacintoport International LLC and Seaboard Marine Ltd. have agreed to pay $1.075 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the companies violated the False Claims Act in connection with a warehousing and logistics contract for the storage and redelivery of humanitarian food aid. Jacintoport is a cargo handling and stevedoring firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, and Seaboard Marine, an affiliate of Jacintoport, is an ocean transportation company headquartered in Miami, Florida. Read More
St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center will pay $3.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the federal and New York False Claims Acts by presenting false claims for payment to the state Medicaid program for mental health services rendered by unqualified staff. Read more
Sweet Dreams Nurse Anesthesia Group Sweet Dreams agreed to pay to the United States $1,034,416 and the State of Georgia $12,078.79 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act by paying unlawful kickbacks to health care providers with the intent to induce referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Read More
Estate of Dr. Kenneth Michael Rice and UMC Physicians (UMCP) have agreed to pay a total of $3,280,000.00 to the United States and the State of Texas to settle allegations that Dr. Rice and UMCP violated the False Claims Act, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. Read More
Beth Israel Medical Center, Mount Sinai Beth Israel (“Beth Israel”), St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt (“St. Luke’s Roosevelt,” and together with Beth Israel, the “Hospitals”), and Continuum Health Partners, Inc. will pay a $2,950,000 settlement f or willfully delaying repayment of over $ 800,000 in Medicaid overpayments. The settlement resolves claims under the federal False Claims Act and the New York State False Claims Act. Read more
JESUS VILLEGAS, DDS, and his two pediatric dental clinics located in Milford and West Haven have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal and state governments in which they will pay $1,367,466 to resolve allegations that they violated the federal and state False Claims Acts. Read more
Coastal Spine and Pain (“Coastal”), has agreed to pay $7.4 million to the government to resolve allegations that Coastal violated the False Claims Act by performing medically unnecessary drug screening procedures. Read more
Acclarent Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that the company caused health care providers to submit false claims to Medicare and other federal health care programs by marketing and distributing its sinus spacer product for use as a drug delivery device without U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of that use, the Justice Department announced today. Read more
Lexington County Health Services District Inc. Lexington Medical Center located in West Columbia, South Carolina, has agreed to pay $17 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Physician Self-Referral Law (the Stark Law) and the False Claims Act by maintaining improper financial arrangements with 28 physicians, the Department of Justice announced today. Read more
Evercare Hospice and Palliative Care will pay $18 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it claimed Medicare reimbursement for hospice care for patients who were not eligible for such care because they were not terminally ill, the Justice Department announced today. Evercare, now known as Optum Palliative and Hospice Care, is a Minnesota-based provider of hospice care in Arizona, Colorado and other states across the United States. Read more
MD2U Holding Company, including its related companies and individually named owners, have agreed to pay millions to resolve a government lawsuit alleging that they violated the federal False Claims Act by knowingly submitting false medical claims to Medicare and other government health care programs, altering records to support false claims and providing services that were medically unnecessary, announced U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. for the Western District of Kentucky. Read more
En Pointe Gov. Inc., En Pointe Technologies Inc., En Pointe Technologies Sales Inc., Dominguez East Holdings LLC and Din Global Corp., all of Gardena, California, have agreed to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that En Pointe Gov. Inc. was a small business in order to obtain contracts set aside for small businesses and underreporting sales under a General Services Administration (GSA) contract to avoid the payment of fees, the Department of Justice announced today. Under the settlement agreement, the companies have agreed to pay slightly more than $5.8 million. En Pointe Gov. Inc. is now known as Modern Gov IT Inc.; En Pointe Technologies Sales Inc. is now known as Collab9 Inc.; and En Pointe Technologies Inc. is now known as Dinco Inc. Read more
Genentech Inc. and OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC will pay $67 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that they made misleading statements about the effectiveness of the drug Tarceva to treat non-small cell lung cancer, the Department of Justice announced today. Genentech, located in South San Francisco, California, and OSI Pharmaceuticals, located in Farmingdale, New York, co-promote Tarceva, which is approved to treat certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer. OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC is the successor to OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was acquired by Astellas Holding US Inc. in 2010 and converted to a limited liability company in 2011. Read more
Dr. Asad Qamar, and his practice, the Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence (ICE), will pay $2 million, plus release any claim to $5.3 million in suspended Medicare funds, to resolve a lawsuit alleging that they improperly billed Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE for medically unnecessary procedures, and paid kickbacks to patients by waiving Medicare copayments irrespective of financial hardship, the Justice Department announced today. Dr. Qamar also agreed to a three-year period of exclusion from participating in any federal health care program followed by a three-year Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The settlement relates to two consolidated lawsuits in which the United States intervened on Dec. 22, 2014.
M&T Bank Corp. (M&T Bank) has agreed to pay the United States $64 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements, the Justice Department announced today. M&T Bank is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. Read more
Paradigm Spine: has agreed to pay the United States $585,000 to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that the company caused health care providers to submit false claims to Medicare and other federal health care programs for spine surgeries by marketing the company’s coflex-F® device for surgical uses that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The settlement further resolves allegations that Paradigm caused false claims by giving false recommendations on how to code health claims for procedures involving the company’s coflex® device. Read more
Wyeth and Pfizer Inc. have agreed to pay $784.6 million to resolve allegations that Wyeth knowingly reported to the government false and fraudulent prices on two of its proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, Protonix Oral and Protonix IV. Pfizer, which is headquartered in New York City, acquired New Jersey-based Wyeth in 2009, approximately three years after Wyeth had ended the conduct that gave rise to the settlement. Read more
Hollister Inc. (Hollister), a manufacturer of disposable health care products, and Byram Healthcare Centers Inc. (Byram), a supplier of medical products, have agreed to pay $11.44 million and $9,372,882.50, respectively, to resolve allegations that Hollister paid unlawful kickbacks to Byram and that Byram received unlawful kickbacks from Hollister and several other manufacturers, with the intent to induce Byram to conduct promotional campaigns designed to refer patients to the manufacturers’ products. The settlement with Byram also calls for the company to pay $127,117.50 to the state of California to resolve allegations that Byram submitted falsely inflated claims to that state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, in violation of California regulations. Read more
Z Gallerie LLC has agreed to pay $15 million to resolve allegations that the company engaged in a scheme to evade customs duties on imports of wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in violation of the False Claims Act. Z Gallerie sells upscale furniture and accessories in stores across the United States and through the Internet. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Read more
Olympus, the United States’ largest distributor of endoscopes and related equipment will pay $623.2 million to resolve criminal charges and civil claims relating to a scheme to pay kickbacks to doctors and hospitals, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division announced today. U.S. Attorney Fishman and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division also announced that a subsidiary of the distributor will pay $22.8 million to resolve criminal charges relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Latin America. Read more
Recovery Home Care Inc. and Recovery Home Care Services Inc. (collectively RHC) has agreed to pay $1.75 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that he violated the False Claims Act by causing RHC to pay illegal kickbacks to doctors who agreed to refer Medicare patients to RHC for home health care services, the Department of Justice announced today. Conklin sold the RHC companies to National Home Care Holdings LLC, on Oct. 9, 2012. Read more
ArmorSource, LLC has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations in connection with a contract to provide combat helmets to the U.S. Army, the Department of Justice announced today. ArmorSource, a Delaware Limited Liability Company headquartered in Hebron, Ohio, designs, develops and manufactures ballistic helmets for military and law enforcement personnel worldwide. Read more
21st Century Oncology Inc., the nation’s largest physician led integrated cancer care provider and its wholly owned subsidiary South Florida Radiation Oncology LLC, have agreed to settle allegations that they performed and billed for procedures that were not medically necessary, the Department of Justice announced today. 21st Century is headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, and has offices in 16 states. Read more
Hoyt Corporation has agreed to pay $5 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that its chairman and chief executive officer, Gary Thurston, its president, Jeremy Thurston, employees, Ralph Bennett and Steve Benedict and Hayner Hoyt affiliates LeMoyne Interiors and Doyner Inc., engaged in conduct designed to exploit contracting opportunities reserved for service-disabled veterans. Read more
Respironics Inc., based in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $34.8 million to resolve alleged False Claims Act violations for paying kickbacks in the form of free call center services to durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers that bought its masks for patients with sleep apnea, the Department of Justice announced today. Read more
Kilgore Flares Company and one of its subcontractors, ESM Group Inc., have agreed to pay a total of $8 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by selling or conspiring to sell defective infrared countermeasure flares to the U.S. Army and, in the case of ESM, knowingly evading customs duties owed to the United States. Tennessee-based Kilgore Flares manufactures and sells electronics and energetic products, such as flares, to the U.S. military. ESM Group, located in New York, manufactures magnesium powder supplied to the chemical, welding and pyrotechnics industries. ESM imported magnesium powder used in the flares from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which it sold to Kilgore Flares. Read more
Centerra Services International Inc., formerly known as Wackenhut Services LLC, has agreed to pay $7.4 million to resolve allegations that Wackenhut violated the False Claims Act by double billing and inflating labor costs in connection with a contract for firefighting and fire protection services in Iraq, the Department of Justice announced today. Centerra is a security services company headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Read more
Fifty-one hospitals in 15 states for more than $23 million related to cardiac devices that were implanted in Medicare patients in violation of Medicare coverage requirements, the Department of Justice announced today. These settlements represent the final stage of a nationwide investigation into the practices of hundreds of hospitals improperly billing Medicare for these devices. With these additional agreements, the Justice Department’s investigation has now yielded settlements with more than 500 hospitals totaling more than $280 million. Read more
Ameri-Source International Inc., Ameri-Source Specialty Products Inc., Ameri-Source Holdings Inc., Ajay Goel and Thomas Diener – and a related importer, SMC Machining LLC, incorporated at Goel’s direction and formerly owned by his wife, have agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants had engaged in a scheme to evade customs duties on imports of small-diameter graphite electrodes from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Small-diameter graphite electrodes are columns of synthetic graphite with diameters of around 16 inches or less that are used as fuel in electric arc and ladle furnaces, such as those used in steel manufacturing. The companies are all based in Pennsylvania. Read more
Lockheed Martin Corporation and subsidiaries Lockheed Martin Energy Systems and Lockheed Martin Utility Services (collectively, Lockheed Martin) have agreed to pay the United States $5 million to resolve allegations that they violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and, in misrepresenting their compliance with RCRA to the Department of Energy (DOE), knowingly submitted false claims for payment under their contracts with DOE to operate the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, the Justice Department announced today. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security, aerospace, and information technology company that provides energy, environmental, and other services to government and commercial customers. Read more
Novum Structures LLC (Novum) has agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay $3 million to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from its improper use of foreign materials on construction projects involving federal funds. This use was in violation of contractual provisions implementing various domestic preference statutes, often referred to colloquially as the “Buy America” requirements. Novum specializes in the design and construction of glass space frames often used in roofs and atrium enclosures. Read more
Bostwick Laboratories owner Dr. David G. Bostwick has agreed to pay the United States up to $3.75 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for billing Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary cancer detection tests and offering incentives to physicians to obtain Medicare and Medicaid business, the Department of Justice announced today. Dr. Bostwick was the founder, owner and chief executive officer of Bostwick Laboratories Inc. from 1999 to 2011. Bostwick Laboratories is a pathology laboratory headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia. Read more
RehabCare Group Inc., RehabCare Group East Inc. and their parent, Kindred Healthcare Inc., have agreed to pay $125 million to resolve a government lawsuit alleging that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly causing skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to submit false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable, necessary and skilled, or that never occurred, the Department of Justice announced today. Read more
Bollinger Shipyards will pay $8.5 million and release contract claims to settle allegations the company misrepresented the longitudinal strength of patrol boats it delivered to the Coast Guard that resulted in the boats buckling and failing once they were put into service. In 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard contracted to lengthen the Coast Guard’s existing fleet of 110-foot patrol boats to 123 feet and to make other modifications. According to the complaint, Bollinger provided the Coast Guard with engineering calculations that falsely represented the longitudinal strength of the boats and was two times greater than their actual longitudinal strength. >> Read More.
Endo Pharmaceuticals will pay $39 million to resolve allegation the company sold chewable fluoride tablets that contained less than half the amount of fluoride ion indicated on the drug label. Dr. Stephan Porter, a Florida dentist, filed suit in 2013 after discovering that one of the major fluoride supplements on the market, Qualitest (Endo subsidiary), contained less than half of the amount of fluoride indicated on its label. According to the lawsuit, from 2007 to July 2013, Endo and its subsidiaries manufactured sub-potent chewable fluoride tablets under the Qualitest brand name and as a result, pediatricians, dentists, and parents unwittingly gave their children less than half of the fluoride advocated by the American Dental Association. >> Read More.
Mobile Medical, a Troy, Michigan-based company that provides dental, podiatric, vision and hearing services, will pay $4.5 million to settle allegations the company fraudulently billed for Medicare services. The company was also accused of giving kickbacks to nursing homes in exchange for referring Medicare-reimbursable business to the company. The case was filed by four former Mobile Medical employees. >> Read More.
Thirty-two hospitals located throughout 15 states will pay more than $28 million to settle allegations that the health care facilities submitted false claims to Medicare for minimally-invasive kyphoplasty procedures. Craig Patrick and Charles Bates former employees of Kyphon, a manufacturing company that produces a balloon kyphoplasty product, filed the qui tam suit. They will receive a total of approximately $4.75 million from the settlements. >> Read More.
Dynasplint Systems Inc., and its founder and president, George Hepburn, will pay approximately $10.3 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for splints provided to patients in skilled nursing facilities. According to the complaint, Hepburn and Dynasplint knowingly mischarged Medicare for splints used by patients in Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities. To circumvent Medicare rules, defendants allegedly misrepresented that patients were in their homes or other places that were not skilled nursing facilities. Meredith Deane, a former sales executive for Dynasplint, filed the whistleblower complaint. She will receive nearly $2 million of the settlement. >> Read More.
21st Century Oncology LLC, has agreed to pay $19.75 million to resolve allegations that it billed federal health care programs for laboratory tests that were not medically necessary. Specifically, 21st Century submitted claims for fluorescence in situ hybridization, or “FISH,” tests that were not medically necessary. FISH tests are performed on urine that can detect genetic abnormalities associated with bladder cancer. 21st Century also encouraged physicians to order unnecessary FISH tests by offering bonuses based in part on the number of tests referred to 21st Century’s laboratory. A former 21st Century Oncology LLC medical assistant filed the suit. She will receive $3.2 million as her share of the recovery. >> Read More.
University Furnishings LP and its general partner, Freedom Furniture Group Inc. will pay $15 million to resolve allegations the companies made or conspired with others to make false statements to avoid paying duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from the People’s Republic of China. According to the complaint, between 2009 and mid-2012, University Furnishings knowingly misclassified or conspired with others to misclassify wooden bedroom furniture on documents presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to avoid paying antidumping duties on imports of manufactured in the People’s Republic of China. University Loft Company filed the qui tam suit. >> Read More.
HCA has agreed to pay $2 million to the US and the state of Georgia to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged medically unnecessary and substandard heart procedures were being performed at an HCA hospital in Georgia. Dr. Michael Fenster, the former executive director of the cardiovascular program at HCA's Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, Georgia, filed the qui tam suit. The department of Justice did not intervene in this case. Dr. Fenster was awarded 28 percent for his substantial contributions to the case. >> Read More.
Memorial Health, Inc., Memorial Health University Medical Center, Inc., Provident Health Services, Inc., and MPPG, Inc. d/b/a Memorial Health University Physicians will pay $9.8 million to resolve False Claims Act and Stark Law violations. As part of the settlement, Memorial Health will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement. >> Read More.
Aria Health Systems, Inc. agreed to pay $564,700 to resolve claims that a cardiologist performed unnecessary invasive procedures on inpatients and outpatients at their Torresdale Campus between October 1, 2012 and April 15, 2013. Aria also agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act regarding compensation to physicians that were in excess of fair market value. Each settlement was the company self-disclosing. >> Read More.
Genesis HealthCare LLC, will pay $600,000 to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to the federal government in connection with its operation of a skilled nursing facility. According to the complaint, from Aug. 21, 2008, to Sept. 24, 2008, employees of Potomac/Genesis failed to provide patient care activities as recorded in the resident medical record of a patient and failed to provide certain care activities consistent with standing physician orders. >> Read More.
Old Towne Physical Therapy LP has agreed to a $710,000 settlement to resolve allegations that from August 1, 2007 through November 13, 2009, Old Towne submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services performed by physical therapists who were not supervised by Medicare-enrolled physical therapists as is required by law. In addition to monetary penalties, Old Towne will enter a Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS-OIG. >> Read More.
Pathway Genomics Corp., a San Diego-based medical diagnostic laboratory, will pay $4 million to resolve allegations it paid improper kickbacks to physicians and physician groups in exchange for patient referrals. According to the complaint, Pathway offered physicians and medical groups reimbursements of up to $20 for each saliva kit they collected and submitted to Pathway for testing. Physicians received as much as $13,534 in reimbursements from Pathway. >> Read More.
NetCracker Technology Corp. will pay $11.4 million and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) will pay $1.35 million to resolve allegations that they used individuals without security clearances on a Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) contract. John Kingsley, a former NetCracker employee, filed the whistleblower-initiated suit. Mr. Kingsley will receive $2,358,750 as his share of the recovery in this case. >> Read More.
Coast Produce Company will pay $4 million to resolve allegations that it overcharged the U.S. military for fresh fruits and vegetables that it supplied to military dining facilities and Navy ships in Southern California. Kevin Driscoll originally filed the lawsuit in 2008, he will receive $920,000 of the settlement. >> Read More.
Education Management Corp., the country’s second largest for-profit college chain, will pay $95.5 million to settle allegations that it based employee pay on student enrollment, a violation of federal law. Recruiters were offered incentives based on student enrollment including professional sports tickets and vacations to Puerto Vallarta. A former assistant director of filed the initial suit in 2011. She and other whistleblowers will share $11.3 million of the settlement. >> Read More.
Deaconess Home Health will pay over $3.7 million to resolve allegations arising from three whistleblower suits that the company provided home health services that were medical unnecessary, billed for inflated care levels, had physicians approve patients without any physical examination, and did not properly oversee the care that was being provided. The whistleblowers will receive approximately $600,000 of the settlement. >> Read More.
Piedmont Pathology will pay $500,000 to settle allegations that it provided Electronic Medical Record software for free or at low cost to physicians in return for those physicians referring patients to Piedmont for laboratory services. These actions were in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act. A former sales representative for Piedmont Pathology filed the qui tam suit. Their share of the settlement has not yet been determined. >> Read More.
Pharmasan Labs and NeuroScience Inc. have agreed to pay $8.5 million to resolve allegations the companies disguised laboratory tests in order to get Medicare to pay for food sensitivity testing which Medicare does not cover, as well as billing Medicare for tests performed after referral by ineligible non-physician providers. Further, the companies will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS. >> Read More.
Franklin American Mortgage Company will pay $70 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by approving loans for FHA insurance that did not meet requirements of that program. Franklin American was a direct endorsement lender (DEL) in the program, and they allegedly violated several requirements of being a DEL including insufficient auditing programs, unqualified underwriters, and failure to self-report deficient loans between 2006 and 2012. Because of Franklin American’s practices, the FHA ended up paying large sums under their insurance programs when these unqualified loans defaulted. >> Read More.
L-3 Communications Holdings Inc agreed to pay $25.6 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the military contractor of defrauding the U.S. government by selling thousands of holographic weapon sights that it knew were defective. According to the complaint, L-3 concealed defects that caused the sights to fail in extreme cold or humidity, including one defect that was hidden for 8-1/2 years. >> Read More.
HCA will pay $2 million to Settle Allegations of Billing for Unnecessary Lab Tests. According to the complaint, HCA submitted laboratory claims for direct count low-density lipids (LDL) when the tests were not ordered and/or not medically necessary and HCA submitted claims for fetal biophysical profiles with non-stress tests (CPT code 76818) and additionally submitted claims for standalone non-stress tests. The whistleblower in this case will receive approximately $400,000. >> Read More.
Strata Pathology Laboratory, Inc. (known as StrataDx), will pay $558,793 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by inducing physicians to refer Medicare and Medicaid patients to Strata by paying kickbacks in the form of sham consulting fees and providing unlawful discounts to physicians. The settlement stems from a complaint filed by a former Strata employee. >> Read More.
Guardian Hospice of Georgia LLC, Guardian Home Care Holdings Inc. and AccentCare Inc. (collectively Guardian) will pay $3 million to resolve allegations that Guardian submitted or caused the submission of false claims for hospice care for patients who Guardian knew were not terminally ill. Former Guardian employees, Rose Betts and Jennifer Williams, filed the qui tam suit. They will receive approximately $510,000 of the settlement. >> Read More.
Fifth Third Bank will pay $85 million to resolve a whistleblower-initiated lawsuit that alleged a broad range of commercial and residential mortgage violations, including fraudulent appraisal practices, which resulted in significant losses to the federal government. Former Third Fifth employee George Mann filed the qui tam suit. >> Read More.
PharMerica Corp. has agreed to pay $9.25 million to resolve allegations that it solicited and received kickbacks from pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott Laboratories in exchange for promoting the prescription drug Depakote for nursing home patients. According to the complaint, the kickbacks were disguised as rebates, educational grants and other financial support. The settlement partially resolves allegations in two lawsuits filed by Richard Spetter and Meredith McCoyd, former Abbott employees. As part of this resolution, Ms. McCoyd will receive $1 million from the federal share of the settlement amount. >> Read More.
Serenity Hospice and Palliative Care, a hospice operating in Phoenix, Ariz., will pay $2.2 million to resolve a whistleblower-initiated suit alleging that Serenity knowingly submitted false claims for payment to Medicare for hospice patients. Serenity will also enter a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and Ruth Siegel, former president of Serenity will be excluded from Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal health care programs for five years, effective immediately. >> Read More.
Cincinnati-based West Chester Hospital and its parent company, UC Health, will pay $4.1 million to settle allegations that West Chester Hospital knowingly submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for hospital charges related to medically unnecessary spine surgeries performed between 2009 and 2013 by Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani. Durrani was arrested in July 2013 and charged with health care fraud violations. Following his arraignment, Durrani allegedly fled the United States and remains a fugitive. Former patients of Durrani filed the civil suit under the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers will receive approximately $800,000 from the federal share of the settlement. >> Read More.
Stericycle, an Illinois-based medical waste disposal company, will pay nearly $27 million to settle allegations they improperly increased its service price to certain government customers by passing on cost increases without contractual authorization. A former Stericycle employee filed the whistleblower suit in 2008. Their share of the settlement has not been released. >> Read More.
The Boeing Company paid $18 million to settle allegations that the company improperly charged labor costs under contracts with the Air Force for the maintenance and repair of C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Former Boeing employee James Thomas Webb filed the qui tam suit. Mr. Webb’s share of the settlement has not yet been determined. >> Read More.
Westwood Mental Health LLC, and its parent company, MedSouth LLC, have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that from 2006 through 2009, Westwood falsified patient records, billed for services not medically necessary, billed for services that were not rendered, provided bribes to Medicare beneficiaries who did not qualify for partial hospitalization services and provided bribes and/or kickbacks to employees to further or conceal the fraud. >> Read More.
Tuomey Healthcare System has agreed to settle with the government for $72.4 million—less than a third of the $237 million that a federal appeals court said it would have to pay for illegal compensation arrangements with doctors. As part of the settlement, Tuomey will also be sold to Palmetto Health, a system based in Columbia, S.C. Tuomey previously signaled it planned to partner with Palmetto. The case was originally filed in 2005 by a whistle-blower, Dr. Michael Drakeford, who declined to enter into an agreement offered by the hospital. In successful False Claims Act cases, whistle-blowers are entitled to a percentage of whatever money the government is able to recover. Drakeford will receive $18.1 million from the settlement. >> Read More.
The United States resolved for $4 million a False Claims Act action against the estate and trusts of the late Layton P. Stuart, former owner and president of One Financial Corporation, and its subsidiary, One Bank & Trust N.A. According to the complaint, Stuart knowingly made false statements about the financial condition of One Financial and One Bank and about the intended use of the TARP funds. Within two weeks of receiving the TARP funds, Stuart allegedly diverted $2.185 million into his personal accounts. Stuart was terminated from One Bank in September 2012. >> Read More.
Millennium Health, formerly Millennium Laboratories, will $256 million to resolve allegations the company charged federal health care programs for medically unnecessary urine drug and genetic testing and for providing free items to physicians who agreed to refer expensive laboratory testing business to Millennium. Millennium has also agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to federal health care programs from Jan. 1, 2012, through May 20, 2015, for genetic testing that was performed routinely and without an individualized assessment of need. The case was brought by multiple whistleblowers; they will receive $30.35 million from the False Claims Act recovery for the urine drug testing claims and $1.48 million from the False Claims Act recovery for the genetic testing claims. >> Read More.
United Parcel Service (“UPS”) will pay $4.2 million dollars to resolve allegations that it routinely falsified delivery records regarding state and city government packages for years. The case was brought by former UPS employee Robert Fulk, under the federal false claims act and the false claims acts of nineteen states, the District of Columbia, N.Y.C. and Chicago. >> Read More.
ECL Solutions Limited, Inc., a British company doing business with the U.S. military as Ban-Air Storage Systems ("ECL") pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle goods into the United States and was ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $1,066,132.10 in the criminal prosecution. Todd Mihajlovic filed a qui tam action that alleged in part that ECL violated the False Claims Act because of false representations made by the company that products it sold to the United States complied with the Buy American Act (BAA) and the Trade Agreements Act (TAA). According to the Complaint, ECL obscured the fact that its steel racking systems sold to the U.S. Military were actually imported from China. >> Read More.
Novartis pharmaceuticals settled part of its False Claims Act liabilities for $390 million. The company faced $3.35 billion in fines if they had gone to court and lost on just two drugs -- a likely scenario considering that two other companies involved in the fraud -- BioScript and Accredo Health-Express Scripts -- had already settled their part of the case for a combined total of $75 million. Novartis was already operating under a Corporate Integrity Agreement in which the U.S. Department of Justice and Novartis agreed that a “material breach” of the CIA “constitutes an independent basis for Novartis’ exclusion from participation in the Federal health care programs.” The whistleblower-initiated lawsuit originally filed in 2012 by former Novartis employee David Kester alleges the pharmaceutical giant engaged in illegal referral agreements with specialty pharmacies to boost sales of its drugs. >> Read More.
APL Limited has agreed to pay the government $9.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a contract to provide GPS tracking of shipping containers in Afghanistan. The United States alleges that APL billed the DOD for tracking services despite knowing that the tracking devices completely or partially failed to transmit data, or were not affixed to shipping containers. The government also claims that APL attached a single satellite tracking device to two shipping containers despite being required to affix one device to every container. >> Read More.
Maine Dermatology, a dermatology practice with an office in Lincolnville will pay nearly $630,000 to settle claims involving false billings to Medicare. The complaint says the company violated the act by billing Medicare for providing evaluation and management services to patients in violation of billing guidelines. According to the complaint, Maine Dermatology submitted $314,908 in false claims, and sought damages equal to double the amount. >> Read More.
Warner Chilcott U.S. Sales LLC, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical manufacturer Warner Chilcott PLC, plead guilty to a felony charge of health care fraud and agreed to pay $125 million to resolve allegations of the company’s illegal marketing of the drugs Actonel®, Asacol®, Atelvia®, Doryx®, Enablex®, Estrace®and Loestrin®. The civil lawsuit was filed in the District of Massachusetts and is captioned United States ex rel. Alexander, et al. v. Warner Chilcott plc, et al., Civil Action No. 11-CA-1121 (D. Mass.). As part of today’s resolution, the whistleblowers will receive approximately $22.9 million from the federal share of the civil recovery. >> Read More.
The Department of Justice reached 70 settlements involving 457 hospitals in 43 states for more than $250 million related to cardiac devices that were implanted in Medicare patients in violation of Medicare coverage requirements. Most of the settling defendants were named in whistleblower lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in the Southern District of Florida by Leatrice Ford Richards, a cardiac nurse, and Thomas Schuhmann, a health care reimbursement consultant. The whistleblowers have received more than $38 million from the settlements. >> Read More.