Thursday, September 30, 2004

Medical equipment provider settles False Claims Act suit

Doctor's Choice Medical Equipment has agreed to pay more than $1.38 million to settle charges that it defrauded both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The company double-billed the programs for some durable medical items and billed for others that were never provided. reported on the settlement on September 29, 2004.

Boeing to pay $6 million to settle titanium suit

The Boeing Co. has agreed to pay the United States government $6 million to settle charges that the firm used Russian-melted titanium in the manufacture of military aircraft. The contract required the use of U.S.-melted titanium and the government charged that the delivery of non-conforming aircraft violated the False Claims Act.

The Miami Herald carried the Associated Press report on September 29, 2004.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hospital settles billing fraud case

New York University Downtown Hospital has agreed to pay $2.1 million to resolve charges that it billed Medicaid for obstetric services that were provided by midwives and residents but billed as though they were performed by doctors.

The hospital identified and reported the false billings to the United States Attorney's Office as part of their internal compliance program.

The U.S. Attorney's Office issued a press release on the settlement on September 23, 2004.

Friday, September 24, 2004

PharMerica faces kickback charges

The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it has begun an administrative process against PharMerica Drug Systems, a large institutional pharmacy. The IG is seeking penalties of $21.8 million and a ten year exclusion from federal programs for alleged violations of the anti-kickback statute.

The Inspector General issued a press release on September 23, 2004.

Judge won't dismiss false claims suit against Medco

Medco, a pharmacy benefits manager, failed in its attempt to have a whistleblower lawsuit dismissed. The court refused to dismiss the suit, which alleges that Medco Health Solutions failed to pass along rebates to clients and pressured doctors to switch prescriptions to drugs manufactured by Merck.

The Star-Ledger published a story on September 24, 2004.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Gold Banc says qui tam suit affects proposed merger

Gold Banc announced that Silver Acquisition Corp., with whom it has a merger agreement, has cut its offering price, asserting that a proposed settlement in a False Claims Act suit against Gold may adversely impact Gold's financial condition.

In June, Gold Banc was sued for allegedly charging excessive interest rates and fees on agricultural loans. The bank has proposed to settle the whistleblower lawsuit for $16 million. Federal prosecutors have accepted the deal in principle, the bank said.

Business Wire posted a news report on September 21, 2004.

FCA suit alleges company falsified safety tests

The federal government has intervened in a False Claims Act suit that claims several companies defrauded the government by falsifying safety tests for compressed gas cylinders. The cylinders are used to fuel nuclear missiles, the space shuttle and support operations at nuclear power plants.

Western Sales & Testing of Amarillo Inc., Portersville Sales & Testing Inc., and BKC Industries Inc. are among the defendants who allegedly submitted more than $20 million in false claims.

The Amarillo Globe News reported on the suit on September 21, 2004.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Maine announces settlement of illegal drug switching suit

Omnicare of Maine will pay $1.08 million to the state of Maine to settle charges that it switched patients from prescribed tablets of an anti-ulcer drug to unprescribed capsules. The state said that the switches were initiated specifically to increase company revenue.

The Attorney General's Office issued a press release on August 27, 2004.

Calif. AG joins suit against electronic voting machine manufacturer

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has announced he will join Alameda County in a False Claims Act suit against Diebold Elections Systems.

The suit alleges that the company sold Alameda County software that was not federally certified and not tamper-proof. The county spent $13 million on the touch-screen voting machines.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the suit on September 8, 2004. CorpWatch published an article on the suit on the same day.

Companies to pay $8.4 million for underpayment of postage

Cushman and Wakefield and Interior Systems Inc. have agreed to pay the federal government $8.4 million in settlement of a False Claims Act lawsuit. The suit alleged that the companies underpaid the postage due from a mail presort business based in Dallas.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas issued a press release on September 8, 2004.

Whistleblower suit charges hospital paid kickbacks

The U.S. Dept. of Justice has intervened in a False Claims Act suit alleging that Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, paid kickbacks to doctors in exchange for patient referrals. The complaint claims that these prohibited activities occurred between 1994 and 2001, resulting in over $38 million in payments from Medicare and Medicaid.

The Associated Press story was published in the September 9, 2004 issue of the Sun Herald.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Another whistleblower suit filed in Medtronic kickback probe

A second whistleblower suit has been filed alleging illegal kickbacks to physicians by medical technology giant Medtronic.

The suit, filed under the Federal False Claims Act, contends that Medtronic's Sofamor Danek spinal division provided payments and other services to doctors in violation of anti-kickback laws.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the story on September 3, 2004.