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Other Government Health Programs

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to government healthcare programs other than Medicare and Medicaid, and fraud in those programs. You may also be interested in our pages:

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January 15, 2020

ResMed Corp. has agreed to pay $37.5 million to resolve five whistleblower-brought lawsuits alleging that the durable medical equipment (DME) manufacturer paid illegal kickbacks to suppliers, sleep labs, and other health providers, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  $6.2 million of the settlement will be split amongst the whistleblowers, who had revealed that ResMed improperly provided or helped provide free or below cost call center services, patient outreach services, medical equipment and installation, and interest-free loans, in exchange for business.  DOJ; USAO EDNY; USAO NC; USAO NDIA; USAO SC; USAO SDCA

January 15, 2020

TMJ & Orofacial Pain Treatment Centers of Wisconsin has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a qui tam suit alleging submissions of false claims to Medicare and TRICARE.  According to the anonymous whistleblower, who will receive an undisclosed share of the settlement, TMJ billed the government health programs for prosthetic devices as if they had been fabricated by in-house surgeons, when in fact they had been fabricated by an outside laboratory.  USAO EDWI

January 7, 2020

Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay (BCOTB) has agreed to pay $675,000 to settle claims alleging the autism service provider submitted false or fraudulent claims to TRICARE.  Following an audit by TRICARE's managed care support contractor, the United States launched an investigation into BCOTB's claims that revealed it had misrepresented the services that were provided, misrepresented the identity of service providers, requested payment on more units of time than reflected by records, and requested payment on services that were not substantiated by records.  USAO MDFL

December 19, 2019

Five individuals have been sentenced for their roles in a scheme to defraud TRICARE through the submission of false and fraudulent claims for compounded prescription pain creams.   Marketing firm Centurion Compounding, Inc., owned by  Frank Monte and Kimberley Anderson, entered into an agreement with LifeCare Pharmacy, owned by Carlos Mazariegos and Benjamin Nundy, to pay kickbacks to Dr. Anthony Baldizzi in exchange for him writing prescriptions for compounded creams marketed by Centurion to TRICARE beneficiaries. LifeCare billed health insurers, including TRICARE, more than $12.4 million for compounded cream prescriptions written by Baldizzi and marketed by Centurion, realizing a profit of more than $10 million, which it shared with Baldizzi, Monte, and Anderson.  Centurion also caused TRICARE to be billed additional fraudulent amounts through one or more other pharmacies.  Monte and Anderson of Centurion were sentenced to 2 years and 1.5 years, respectively, and Monte forfeited more than $3 million in property.  Baldizzi was sentenced to 1 year in prison, ordered to forfeit $100,000, and will surrender his license to practice medicine.  Mazariegos and Nundy of LifeCare were sentenced to 1 year in prison and 5 years probation, respectively, and paid over $12.8 million in restitution and forfeiture.  USAO MD FL

Sharp HealthCare — Medicare Fraud/Kickbacks (undisclosed settlement amount)

Three of our whistleblower attorneys represented a whistleblower in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act against Sharp HealthCare, a regional hospital system in San Diego.  Our client alleged that the Sharp Healthcare Center for Research, Sharp’s clinical-trial research arm, fraudulently billed government payers in violation of “secondary payer” rules that prohibit billing the government when other payers will pay for a patient’s care. Our whistleblower client also alleged that Sharp cultivated an illegal kickback scheme to entice prospective trial sponsors to host clinical trials at Sharp by regularly undervaluing Sharp’s costs involved in managing clinical trials.  By offering below-market value incentives and billing government and commercial insurers for injuries, the lawsuit alleged that Sharp sought to increase its attractiveness to trial sponsors. Sharp’s alleged purpose was to burnish the organization’s reputation and offer a lucrative stream of income for Sharp-affiliated physicians involved in clinical trials. Sharp settled the whistleblower’s case for an undisclosed amount.  Read more here.

November 15, 2019

Compounding pharmacy Midwest Compounders, Inc., and its owner Troy DeLong, agreed to pay $205,000 to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to Tricare for prescriptions that resulted from unlawful arrangements between the pharmacy and prescribers or marketers, or otherwise overbilled for medically unnecessary dosages or redundant active ingredients.  The allegations were first made in a qui tam case filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act.  USAO ND Iowa

November 8, 2019

In the eleventh settlement involving the multi-state OK Compounding Pharmacy fraud scheme, podiatrist Jonathan Moore of Kentucky has agreed to pay $65,404 for the role he played in defrauding federal healthcare programs.  In exchange for illegal kickbacks disguised as “medical director fees,” Dr. Moore allegedly prescribed medically unnecessary compounded pain creams to patients, many of whom were insured by Medicare and TRICARE.  USAO NDOK

November 7, 2019

Compound drug ingredient supplier Fagron Holding USA LLC has agreed to pay over $22 million to resolve two qui tam suits involving three of Fagron’s wholly-owned subsidiaries.  According to whistleblowers, Freedom Pharmaceuticals Inc. grossly inflated the price of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in compound prescriptions, causing pharmacy customers to submit false claims to TRICARE.  Other allegations involved subsidiaries Pharmacy Services Inc. and B&B Pharmaceuticals Inc., which were accused of submitting false claims to federal healthcare programs, manipulating prescription drug pricing, paying kickbacks to physicians, and illegally waiving patient copays.  DOJ

October 31, 2019

In the largest healthcare fraud case ever to come out of Mississippi, pharmacy owner Thomas Spell has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $243 million in restitution for knowingly defrauding TRICARE.  Between 2014 and 2016, Spell and his co-conspirators had deviously marketed compounded medications based on their rate of reimbursement from TRICARE, paid illegal kickbacks to marketers in order to obtain prescriptions from TRICARE beneficiaries, and improperly waived mandatory copayments for TRICARE beneficiaries.  USAO SDMS

October 29, 2019

A former resident of Atlanta has been sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and ordered to pay $306,179 in restitution for defrauding PERACare, the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association’s health insurance plan.  For more than two years, Michael Bang allegedly submitted fraudulent reimbursement claims involving three Atlanta-area pharmacies to Express Scripts, which administers PERACare’s prescription benefits. Altogether, his scheme netted him over $300,000.  USAO NDGA
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