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Whistleblower Rewards

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Page 63 of 72

March 9, 2015

Florida home health care companies Recovery Home Care Inc., Recovery Home Care Services Inc. and National Home Care Holdings LLC have agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve allegations that Recovery Home Care violated the False Claims Act by improperly paying doctors for referrals of home health care services provided to Medicare patients.  According to the government, the physicians were over-compensated for any actual work they performed and, in reality, they were paid to induce them to refer their patients to Recovery Home Care in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Recovery Home Care employee Gregory Simony under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  Simony will receive a whistleblower award of $198,000.  DOJ

February 24, 2015

Acadiana Cardiology LLC, Acadiana Cardiovascular Center and convicted doctor Mehmood Patel agreed to pay $650,000 to settle charges they violated the False Claims Act through unnecessary cardiovascular, endovascular and related procedures that Patel performed at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Lafayette General Medical Center, Acadiana Cardiology and Acadiana Cardiovascular Center.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Dr. Christopher Mallavarapu, a cardiologist who formerly practiced with Patel.  DOJ

February 18, 2015

Hospice services provider Compassionate Care Hospice Group agreed to pay $6.7M to settle charges it violated the federal and New York False Claims Acts by submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for hospice nursing services not actually or adequately provided.  Specifically, the government alleged CCH nurses routinely missed their required visits and then falsified nursing notes in patients’ files to make it appear as though the visits had been performed.  The charges originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  Whistleblower Insider, NY

February 12, 2015

Three importers agreed to pay more than $3M to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by lying to US Customs and Border Protection agents to evade customs duties on imports of aluminum extrusions from China.  The companies, which included California-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Florida-based Southeastern Aluminum Products Inc.and Texas-based Waterfall Group LLC, sell shower doors and shower enclosures made with the aluminum extrusions.  The charges were first raised in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by James F. Valenti Jr. under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  He will receive a whistleblower award of $555,000.  DOJ

February 11, 2015

Delaware-based pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca LP agreed to pay $7.9M to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in an illegal kickback scheme with pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions.  The government alleged, among other things, that AstraZeneca agreed to provide remuneration to Medco in exchange for Medco maintaining for AstraZeneca’s Nexium drug “sole and exclusive” status on certain Medco formularies and through other marketing activities.  The charges originated with a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former AstraZeneca employees Paul DiMattia and F. Folger Tuggle under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  They will collectively receive a whistleblower award of $1,422,000.  Whistleblower Insider

February 6, 2015

Oklahoma-based Hospice care provider Good Shepherd Hospice Inc.agreed to pay $4M to resolve allegations it submitted false claims for hospice patients who were not terminally ill. Specifically, the government contended Good Shepherd pressured staff to meet admissions and census targets and paid bonuses to staff, including hospice marketers, admissions nurses and executive directors, based on the number of patients enrolled even if they were not eligible for hospice care. The settlement resolves allegations first raised by former Good Shepherd employees Kathi Cordingley and Tracy Jones in a whistleblower lawsuit they filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. They will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $680,000. DOJ

February 5, 2015

Minnesota-based medical device manufacturer ev3 Inc. (formerly known as Fox Hollow Technologies Inc.) agreed to pay $1.25M to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by causing certain hospitals to submit false claims to Medicare for unnecessary inpatient admissions related to minimally-invasive atherectomy procedures for removing hardening of the arteries. According to the government, Fox Hollow sold the Silver Hawk Plaque Excision System for these procedures and advised hospitals to bill them as more expensive inpatient procedures, as opposed to less costly outpatient procedures, to artificially increase their Medicare reimbursement claims. The charges originated with a whistleblower lawsuit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by former Fox Hollow sales representative Amanda Cashi. She will receive a whistleblower award of $250,000. DOJ

February 2, 2015

Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation and three affiliated New Mexico hospitals agreed to pay $75M to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act by making illegal donations to county governments which were used to fund the state share of Medicaid payments to the hospitals. The allegations were first raised in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by former Community Health revenue manager Robert Baker. He will receive a whistleblower reward of $18,671,561 as his share of the government’s recovery. DOJ

January 26, 2015

Kentucky-based ambulance services company Lafferty Enterprises, LLC(d/b/a Trans-Star Ambulance Services) agreed to pay $948,000 to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary services over the course of several years. According to the government, from February 2006 until December 2012, the company transported Medicare patients to and from dialysis clinics by ambulance when an ambulance transport was not medically necessary. The charges originated from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Kevin Fairlie under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. He will receive a whistleblower award of $189,600. DOJ

January 9, 2015

Global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Inc. agreed to pay $39 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe Daiichi drugs, including Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor and Welchol. According to the government, Daiichi paid physicians improper kickbacks in the form of speaker fees as part of Daiichi’s Physician Organization and Discussion programs which were often just lavish dinners with the speaking physicians’ own medical group or staff. The charges originated with a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Daiichi sales representative Kathy Fragoules under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. She will receive a whistleblower award of $6.1 million. DOJ
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