Dignity Health has agreed to pay the United States $37 million to settle allegations that 13 of its hospitals in California, Nevada and Arizona defrauded Medicare and TRICARE by admitting patients who could have been treated on a less costly out-patient basis.
North Florida Shipyards and its president have agreed to pay $1 million to the United States to settle claims that they violated the False Claims Act by creating a front company in order to be awarded Coast Guard contracts that were designated for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).
Testimony from Trinity’s president at trial established that Trinity did not report to the states that it had changed the design and indeed had falsely represented to various states that the design was identical to the original version that had been approved by federal regulators.
The president of Trinity Highway Products testified at trial that his company did not tell a single state about design changes made in 2005 to its ET-Plus guardrail system. Evidence revealed that Trinity reduced the width of a piece of metal from five inches to four in 2005, but did not inform states of that design change.
Bostwick Laboratories, Inc. has agreed to pay $6,048,000 to resolve lawsuit alleging that Bostwick improperly offered incentives to physicians in exchange for referrals and billed for unordered tests and services.
The manufacturer of the ET-Plus guardrail system that has been under much scrunity was found guilty Monday by a Texas jury of defrauding the federal government. The $175 million verdict which under federal law will triple to $525 million was the result of a whistleblower lawsuit brough under the False Claims Act.
Earlier this week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Community Health Systems, Inc. will pay $97 million to resolve multiple whistleblower cases brought against the company under the False Claims Act.
Omnicare, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes, recently agreed to pay $124.4 million to settle a whistleblower suit. The government asserted that Omnicare offered improper financial incentives to skilled nursing facilities in return for their continued selection of Omnicare to supply drugs to elderly Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The False Claims Act case against Tenet Healthcare was settled for $5 million, with $4 million going to the federal government and $1 million going to the South Florida landlord that was the whistleblower. Tenet was accused of paying kickbacks to doctors in return for patient referrals by allowing the doctors to lease offices at below-market rates.
Federal regulators have increasingly targeted unscrupulous practitioners who routinely bill Medicare for unnecessary treatments or procedures they never perform. Those practices are often easier to get away with in physical therapy than in specialties such as oncology or cardiology.