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Whistleblower Case

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Community Health Network Pays $345 Million to Settle Stark Law Case

Posted  12/21/23
Handshake in room with dark window blinds
Community Health Network Inc., based in Indianapolis, recently settled with the U.S. government for $345 million, addressing allegations under the False Claims Act related to the Stark Law. This landmark case emphasizes the importance of whistleblowers to combat Medicare fraud. The Stark Law prevents hospitals from billing Medicare for services referred by physicians who have a financial relationship with the...

December 21, 2023

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc., maker of Crysvita, will pay $6 million for violating the False Claims Act. Crysvita is prescribed to treat a rare inherited blood disorder, which may require a genetic test to definitively diagnose. To induce purchases and referrals, Ultragenyx paid a laboratory to conduct genetic tests at no cost to healthcare providers or patients, and then provide the results reports to Ultragenyx. Ultragenyx then used the positive test results reports to target healthcare providers for Crysvita sales. Internally, Ultragenyx referred to this kickback scheme as their "sponsored" testing program. The program was exposed via a qui tam whistleblower, who will receive $1.07 million of the $6.7 million recovery. DOJ

December 19, 2023

Indiana-based Community Health Network Inc. has agreed to pay $345 million to resolve claims by its former CFO and COO Thomas Fischer, which alleged the healthcare system submitted claims to Medicare that were tainted by violations of the Stark Law.  In order to capture physicians’ downstream referrals, Community paid physicians salaries that were sometimes double market rate, and awarded them bonuses based on the number of referrals.  Community then submitted claims resulting from these referrals for reimbursement.  DOJ

December 18, 2023

Heart monitoring device manufacturer BioTelemetry Inc. and its subsidiary, LifeWatch Services Inc., have agreed to pay more than $14.7 million for causing false claims to be submitted to federal healthcare programs.  The claims were brought in two separate qui tam suits, one by an employee of one of LifeWatch’s customers, Michael Pelletier, and the other by SFP I LLC.  The whistleblowers alleged that the companies knew the design of their enrollment portal would steer clinical staff into enrolling patients in telemetry, which is reimbursed at a higher rate, rather than holter monitoring and event monitoring, which is reimbursed at a lower rate.  DOJ

Caught in the Crosshairs - Loyal Source Government Services

Posted  12/1/23
US Customs and Border Protection Flyer Behind US Flag
As reported in the Washington Post yesterday (November 30), a long-serving Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official filed a whistleblower complaint with Congress claiming significant failures by medical service contractor Loyal Source Government Services and CBP's refusal to address them.  Even worse, when the whistleblower -- 14-year CBP veteran Troy Hendrickson -- tried to raise his concerns with his CBP...

Catch of the Week: King Kong Tools

Posted  11/30/23
Typewriter with Made in China Letters Typed Out
This week's Department of Justice (DOJ) Catch of the Week goes to King Kong Tools GmbH & Co KG.  On  Wednesday (November 29), the German-based supplier of recycling, forestry, construction, and agricultural equipment, along with its American subsidiary, agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle DOJ charges of violating the False Claims Act through customs fraud.  More specifically, the government alleged King Kong...

Tactical Gear Company Settles $2.1 Million False Claims Act Allegations

Posted  11/22/23
Soldier Gear Piled Together

The U.S Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio has announced that London Bridge Trading Company, Ltd. (LBT), a Virginia headquartered manufacturer of tactical gear for military, law enforcement, and other organizations, has agreed to pay nearly $2.1 million to settle False Claims Act allegations.  The case, initiated by qui tam relator Ann Keating, involves accusations that LBT failed to comply with the...

Caught in the Crosshairs - Lone Star Organic Dairy

Posted  11/20/23
Cow in Grass Field
As described in a PETA press release last week (November 16), a whistleblower alerted the animal protection group to what it describes as "extreme animal suffering and mass deaths" at Texas dairy farm Lone Star Organic Dairy.  Lone Star has roughly 2,300 cows and supplies milk to Horizon Organic, the largest organic milk supplier in the country.  In response to the whistleblower's outreach, PETA sent a letter to the...

$45.6 Million Settlement in False Claims Act Case Against Nursing Facility Defendants

Posted  11/17/23
Nurse Holding Clipboard in Front of Nursing Patient
The DOJ recently announced another settlement of a False Claims Act case against skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).  This time, it was a $45.6 million settlement of a False Claims Act case that the government brought against six SNFs; a management company called Paksn Inc.; and Prema Thekkek, the owner.  The six SNFs do business as (i) Bay Point Healthcare Center (Kayal Inc.); (ii) Gateway Care & Rehabilitation...

Catch of the Week: AECOM

Posted  10/30/23
Flooded Traffic Light Sign
Last week's Department of Justice (DOJ) Catch of the Week goes to Dallas-based architecture and engineering firm AECOM.  Last Tuesday (October 24), the company agreed to pay $11.8 million to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance funding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster...
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