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Arkansas 69 articles

The Fraud List: CVS Caremark profits from Medicaid fraud

The Fraud List

CVS Caremark is the pharmacy benefit management and drugs-by-mail division of CVS Health, a Woonsocket, R.I., based company currently ranked by Fortune Global 500 as the 35th largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue. As both the owner of nearly 70,000 retail pharmacies and the manager of pharmacy services for thousands of clients, the CVS family of companies is well positioned to make enormous profits in the health care field. The corporation manages pharmacy benefit services for employers, health insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations, and other health care plan providers throughout the U.S. CVS Caremark, ... Read More

Kroger recalls seasonings for possible salmonella contamination

Recall - Kroger products - image courtesy WRIC and WVEC

Popular supermarket chain Kroger has announced a sizable recall of four Kroger-brand seasonings sold in its stores. The Kroger recall was sparked by the FDA’s discovery of Salmonella in a sample of the Kroger-brand Garlic Powder sold by a South Carolina store. According to the supermarket’s press release, the following Kroger-brand seasonings were produced in the same facility with the same equipment as the Salmonella-tainted Garlic Powder and are now under recall: Kroger Bac’n Buds: 12 oz containers (Sell by: May 20 18PS4) Kroger Coarse Ground Black Pepper: 17.1 oz containers (Sell by: May 18 18PS4, Sell by: May 19 ... Read More

Worst inland oil spill cleanup continues five years later

Michigan oil spill cleanup - EPA image

While BP engineers and cleanup crews were busy fighting the rising tide of oil blasting from a blown-out well deep in the Gulf of Mexico, another epic oil disaster was occurring in Michigan. Most U.S. adults know at least a little about the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. But ask them about the 2010 Enbridge oil spill in Michigan — the largest inland spill in U.S. history, and chances are very few will be familiar with it. And, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill, the environmental devastation and other fallout of the Enbridge oil spill is still unfolding five years ... Read More

Janssen agrees to pay $7.8 million to settle Risperdal lawsuit

risperdal

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the drug company’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals committed Medicaid fraud and violated state law in its promotion and labeling of the antipsychotic Risperdal to Arkansas doctors. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008. Three years ago, a Pulaski County jury found the drug company guilty of the charges and imposed a $1.2 million fine on Johnson & Johnson. The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the decision. Janssen Pharmaceuticals said the settlement agreement is not an admission of guilt. Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, was originally approved by the ... Read More

Whistleblower complaint leads to $15.69 million recovery for Medicare

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Sixteen U.S. hospitals and their parent companies have agreed to pay the U.S. $15.69 million collectively to resolve allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that they fraudulently billed Medicare for services that were not medically reasonable or necessary. The case concerns claims for reimbursement the hospitals made to Medicare for Intensive Outpatient Psychotherapy services. Medicare pays for an appropriate course of the psychotherapy services when a number of specific requirements are met, the most notable being that the services provided are needed for the diagnosis and treatment of the patient’s condition. The whistleblower lawsuit alleged that from ... Read More

Judge nixes Bayer’s plan to reinstate whistleblower

whistleblower

An Arkansas federal judge who ordered the reinstatement of a whistleblower terminated after implicating Bayer Corp. in a Medicare fraud scheme rebuked the pharmaceutical giant for attempting to reinstate the former employee to a job 500 miles away. Bayer fired sales representative Mike Townsend in 2010 after he blew the whistle on a scheme by a major Bayer customer to defraud Medicaid by illicitly billing the program for intrauterine contraceptives. Mr. Townsend had worked as a Bayer sales rep for six years when he caught on to a Medicaid scam he alleges was orchestrated by Arkansas physician Kelly Dean Shrum, ... Read More

Blue Bell won’t resume making ice cream for several months

Recall - blue bell ice cream cups

Blue Bell Creameries said on its website that its ice cream won’t be back in stores for several months as the company cleans it three manufacturing facilities in the wake of a deadly listeria outbreak and develops a plan for its ice cream products to return to production. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have a firm timeline for when Blue Bell Ice Cream will be back in stores, but we believe at this time that it will be several months at a minimum,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We are evaluating all of our operations in light ... Read More

ExxonMobil to pay $5 million for Arkansas oil spill fines, costs

exxon mobil logos

ExxonMobil will pay $5 million to settle claims brought against it by the U.S. and Arkansas governments stemming from its March 2013 Pegasus Pipeline oil spill that swamped an Arkansas community with thousands of gallons of heavy Canadian oil. Under the settlement agreement, ExxonMobil will pay $3.19 million to the U.S. in Clean Water Act penalties and $1 million in state civil penalties to Arkansas. The oil company will also devote $600,000 to a project geared toward improving water quality at Lake Conway, a reservoir affected by the spill, and pay the Arkansas Attorney General’s office $280,000 in legal fees. The ... Read More

Jump&Go power supply recall prompted by reports of overheating, fires

Recall - Jump and Go power supply

Whistler, an electronics company based out of Arkansas, has announced a Jump&Go power supply recall of about 10,400 units. Reports indicate that the power supplies have the potential to overheat, melt and even catch fire. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Jump&Go Portable Jumpstart & Power Supply 12V power supplies are pocket-sized, measuring about 5.1 inches tall by 4 inches wide by 0.9 inches deep. Sold in either red, black yellow or pink, the recalled power supplies featured detachable jumper cables, built-in high output LED flashlight with emergency flashing patterns, as well as a USB port to ... Read More

Blue Bell recall expanded to all products

Blue Bell Recalled Products

After initiating two large recalls and suspending operations at an Oklahoma plant, Blue Bell will now be recalling all of its products in order to implement a “test and hold” procedure. The process will allow Blue Bell time to test all of its many ice cream products and determine which are safe and which are not. According to Blue Bell’s press release, all of its ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks are included in this recall due to the potential presence of Listeria monocytogenes, which causes the infection Listeriosis. The ingestion and infection of Listeria monocytogenes in a ... Read More