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Anti-Kickback and Stark

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.

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Top Takeaways from Former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on the Current State of False Claims Act Enforcement

Posted  08/28/20
department of justice website
Law360 recently interviewed former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on what he sees as the key issues surrounding False Claims Act enforcement these days.  Here are the top takeaways:
    • COVID-relief fraud will be a DOJ priority. No surprise there given the billions of dollars the federal government is pouring into the economy to alleviate some of the financial strain the pandemic is wreaking on healthcare providers...

August 13, 2020

Advanced Care Scripts, Inc. (ACS) has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations of conspiring with Teva Neuroscience, Inc. (Teva) to pay kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in order to induce purchases of Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone.  The kickbacks came in the form of effectively covering beneficiaries’ co-pays through correlated payments to the Chronic Disease Foundation (CDF) and The Assistance Fund (TAF).  USAO MA

July 28, 2020

A pharmaceutical company accused of paying illegal inducements to physicians has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act.  In order to induce physicians to prescribe its newly-launched local analgesic, EXPAREL, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. allegedly paid doctors kickbacks that were half-heartedly disguised as grant money for research.  In order to receive the so-called research grant, Pacira required EXPAREL to be placed on formulary at the physician’s institution, but did not document why such research was needed or follow up on research results.  The fraud was eventually exposed by a pharmacist in a qui tam suit; the pharmacist will receive $638,000 as part of the settlement.  USAO NJ; AG FL

Newly Unsealed Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleges Drug Giant McKesson Gave Doctors Illegal Kickbacks in the Form of Free Software

Posted  07/24/20
Close-up of McKesson logo on computer screen
Constantine Cannon LLP is pleased to announce the unsealing of a whistleblower lawsuit its client brought alleging that drug wholesaler McKesson Corp. and its affiliated companies provided illegal kickbacks in the form of free business services to encourage oncologists and other doctors to buy drugs from McKesson. The lawsuit alleges that McKesson gave doctors valuable business-management tools geared towards...

July 23, 2020

Progenity, Inc., f/k/a Ascendant MDx, Inc., has agreed to pay a total of $49 million to resolve allegations that the California-based clinical laboratory submitted false claims to Medicaid, the VA, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) through different fraudulent schemes.  First, from 2012 to 2016, Progenity allegedly billed the programs for non-reimbursable prenatal tests using a reimbursable billing code.  Second, in claims originally brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act, the company was alleged to violate the Anti-Kickback Statue by providing improper incentives to physicians—including paying above fair market value for blood specimen “draw fees”, providing tens of thousands of dollars in free food and alcohol, and routinely reducing or waiving co-insurance or deductibles—in order to induce physicians to order their tests.  Approximately $35.9 million of the settlement proceeds will go toward resolving federal claims, with the remaining $13.1 million paid to different states.  AG NC; USAO SDCA; USAO SDNY

July 20, 2020

Drug testing laboratory Sterling Healthcare Opco, LLC, doing business as Cordant Health Solutions will pay $12 million to resolve allegations in a False Claims Act case brought by a whistleblower that it paid unlawful kickbacks to Northwest Physicians Laboratories, LLC and Genesis Marketing Group in exchange for referrals of urine drug tests paid for by federal healthcare programs and performed at Cordant labs in Tacoma (Regional Toxicology Services LLC d/b/a Sterling Reference Laboratory) and Denver (Rocky Mountain Tox LLC d/b/a Forensic Laboratories).  The whistleblower will receive 20% of the settlement, or approximately $2.4 millionUSAO WD WA

July 10, 2020

Universal Health Services, Inc. and UHS of Delaware, Inc. (collectively, UHS), and a Georgia-based UHS facility, Turning Point Care Center, LLC, have agreed to pay a combined $122 million to settle 18 qui tam cases pending in four jurisdictions.  In violation of the False Claims Act, UHS allegedly billed federal healthcare programs—including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit programs—for medically unnecessary inpatient behavioral health services, failed to provide adequate or appropriate services, and paid illegal inducements to beneficiaries of those programs.  UHS will pay over $88 million to the federal government and nearly $29 million to individual states, for a combined penalty of $117 million, with a relator share of about $15.8 million.  Turning Point will pay $5 million to the federal government and the State of Georgia; the whistleblower in that case will receive $861,853.64.  USAO MDFL; USAO NDGA; USAO EDPA; AG FL; AG MI; AG NC; AG VA

Oklahoma City Hospital, Management Company, And Physician Group to Pay $72.3 Million To Settle Kickback and Stark Allegations

Posted  07/10/20
Anti-Kickback Stark Law Whistleblower Examples
Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery (OCOM), a specialty hospital affiliated with Tenet Healthcare in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, its part-owner and management company, USP OKC, Inc. and USP OKC Manager, Inc. (collectively USP), Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC (SOS), an Oklahoma City-based physician group, and two SOS physicians, will pay $72.3 million to resolve kickback allegations...

July 8, 2020

An orthopedic hospital, its management company, a physician’s group, and two physicians have agreed to pay $72.3 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations under the Anti-Kickback Statute, federal False Claims Act, and Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.  Between 2006 and 2018, the Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery (OCOM) and its part-owner and management company, USP OKC, Inc. and USP OKC Manager, Inc. (collectively USP), allegedly provided free or below-fair market rate services and compensation to Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC (SOS), including SOS physicians Anthony Cruse, D.O., and R.J. Langerman, Jr., D.O., in exchange for patient referrals.  USP also allegedly offered preferential investment opportunities to physicians in Texas.  As part of the settlement, USP will pay $60.86 million to the United States, $5 million to the State of Oklahoma, and $206,000 to the State of Texas, while SOS and its physician defendants will pay $5.7 million to the United States and $495,619 to the State of Oklahoma.  DOJ

Catch of the Week: Novartis Pays $729 Million to Settle Two Kickback Cases on Heels of $345 Million Foreign Bribery Settlement

Posted  07/2/20
Novartis corporate building
This week and last, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis reached three settlements involving very different forms of unlawful kickbacks and bribes.  First, this week the company agreed to pay a total of $678 million to resolve a New York case alleging that it paid inflated “speaking fees” and provided other incentives to doctors to induce them to prescribe Novartis drugs.  Second, Novartis will pay $51.25...
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