Thursday, March 31, 2005

PharMerica will pay $6 million to settle kickback charges

PharMerica, a company that provides pharmacy supplies to long-term care institutions, will pay $6 million to settle kickback charges. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said it was the largest ever civil monetary payment in a kickback case.

The company was accused of paying an excessive amount of money for a small Virginia pharmacy. In return for the sales price the seller made a commitment to refer its Medicaid and Medicare pharmacy business to PharMerica for the next seven years. The seller also owned 17 nursing homes and eight assisted living facilities.

The Health & Human Services Inspector general issued a March 29, 2005 press release on the settlement.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Boston consulting company settles fraudulent billing suit

Arthur D. Little has agreed to pay $6.5 million to resolve charges it submitted false and inflated claims for work to the federal government. The company was alleged to have billed the government at commercial rates and charged the government for work it did for its commercial customers.

The Boston Business Journal reported on the settlement on March 25, 2005.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Northrop Grumman settles fraud suit for $62 million

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. has agreed to pay $62 million to settle a nearly 16-year-old case alleging that the company systematically overcharged for materials used in the production of high-tech devices for warplanes. The government also claimed that Northrop inflated costs and lied about the progress of a radar jammer.

The payment is only about a sixth of the $369 million that the government had been seeking.

The case was the result of a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit brought by two former employees.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the settlement on March 2, 2005

Lab company will pay $7.2 million in defective mice suit

An Indiana company will pay $7.2 million to settle claims that it sold mice that did not meet researchers' specifications to the National Institute on Aging.

The government contended that the company failed to disclose repeated tests showing that a rodent strain it provided had been compromised

The U.S. attorney's office agreed in the settlement not to file suit under the False Claims Act, a statute that allows the government to recover triple the actual damages as well as other penalties.

The Washington Post reported the settlement on March 2, 2005

Florida AG files racketeering lawsuit against Tenet

The Florida attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing Tenet Healthcare Corporation of improperly inflating medical procedure charges. The fraudulent inflation resulted in reimbursement from the Medicare Outlier Pool, a fund designed to compensate hospitals for unusually expensive procedures. This deprived Florida's public hospitals of access to the fund for legitimately incurred expenses, according to the complaint.

The attorney general's press release and a copy of the complaint are available at the AG's website.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Qui tam suit alleges Hewlett-Packard sold defective medical devices

A former Hewlett-Packard Co. employee filed a whistle blower lawsuit under the California False Claims Act, alleging that HP and its spinoff, Agilent Technologies Inc., tried to defraud customers by selling defective medical devices.

Medical devices in question include anesthesia monitors, pulse monitors, and ultrasound imaging transducers.

The San Jose Mercury News ran a February 24, 2005 story on the lawsuit.