Pennsylvania-based Respironics Inc. agreed to pay $34.8 million to resolve charges it violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by 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. Respironics allegedly provided DME companies with call center services to meet their patients’ resupply needs at no charge as long as the patients were using masks that Respironics manufactured; otherwise, the DME companies would have to pay a monthly fee based on the number of patients who used masks manufactured by a competitor of Respironics. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Dr. Gibran Ameer, who has worked for different DME companies. He will receive a whistleblower award of $5.38 million from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ
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