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University of Florida Pays $20 Million to Settle Complaint Alleging Grant Fraud


The University of Florida will pay the U.S. government nearly $20 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) for salary and administrative costs on hundreds of federal grants and misused grant funds. The federal government filed a False Claims Act complaint against the University of Florida after a Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) investigation uncovered evidence of fraud. The Justice Department’s Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the Dept. of Health and Human Services office of the Inspector General coordinated the settlement with the University of Florida. The University ... Read More

FDA issues warning letter to medical device maker C.R. Bard

IVC filter

Medical device manufacturer C R. Bard was slapped with a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over misfiling customer complaints that included one patient death, manufacturing a high-risk medical device without required agency approval, and failing to notify the FDA of serious device malfunctions. The FDA letter addresses Bard’s manufacturing and marketing of the Recovery Cone Removal System, used to retrieve inferior vena cava filters, also known as Retrievable IVC filters. The cage-like filters are implanted in the body’s largest vein, called the vena cava, to capture blood clots before they reach the heart and lungs. The devices ... Read More

Warming blanket linked to infection risk in joint replacement patients

Bair Hugger

More than 50 patients who have undergone orthopedic surgery have filed lawsuits against the makers of a popular warming blanket used to keep patients warm during surgery, claiming the machine can circulate contaminated air and cause debilitating infections deep inside joints. The Bair Hugger, manufactured by 3M Company and its subsidiary Arizant Healthcare, pushes warm air through a flexible hose into a blanket that is draped over a patient during surgery. Researchers have found that the air within the blankets can become contaminated, and as the air blows over surgical sites, it can cause infections including MRSA and sepsis. Patients ... Read More

Fresenius slapped with wrongful death lawsuit


A man is suing Fresenius Medical Care and others, claiming negligence on behalf of the dialysis company and members of Huntington Internal Medicine Group in Huntington, W. Va., which he claims caused injuries and the premature death of his father. John. E. Bourdelais was undergoing dialysis treatment under the care of the defendants on July 13, 2013, when he suffered life-threatening injuries including hemorrhagic shock, cardiopulmonary arrest, bilateral pleural effusions, cardiac arrhythmias, hypovolemic arrest, traumatic hemothorax and multiple fractured ribs secondary to resuscitation. This, the lawsuit claims, shortened his life by two years. The lawsuit was filed by John M. ... Read More

U.S. Backs Whistleblower Complaint Against Navy Contractor


The U.S. said on Wednesday that it has joined a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who alleges a U.S. Navy contractor that provided goods and services to U.S. ships in ports around the world knowingly overbilled the government for a decade starting in 2005. The U.S. government contracted U.K.-based Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited to provide goods and services, known as ship husbanding, for crews of ships at port in Asia, Africa, Central America, North America, South America, and Mexico. These services typically included providing food and other basic provisions, arranging ship-to-shore and local transportation, waste removal, ... Read More

Poultry Industry Conditions Dangerous and Unfair, Oxfam Report Finds


Oxfam America has released a new report exposing the extreme hazards and hardships workers in America’s poultry industry continue to endure, despite claims by several industry leaders that employees are treated fairly and that conditions are improving. According to the Oxfam report, Lives on the Line, hazardous plant conditions lead to alarmingly high rates of illness and injury. At the same time, industry practices are designed to discourage workers from reporting violations that directly affect their health and well-being and the employees are prohibited from organizing to push for better conditions and protections. “He told us ‘you shouldn’t drink so ... Read More

Whistleblower, U.S. Take Indiana’s Largest Health Care System To Trial For Alleged Medicaid Fraud


An Indiana federal court heard opening arguments Friday in a whistleblower case brought by an Indiana doctor who accuses Indiana University (IU) Health and Healthnet of defrauding Medicaid out of $100 million and putting pregnant women and their unborn children at risk. Dr. Judith Robinson, former director of women’s services at HealthNet and medical director of ob-gyn services at Indiana University (IU) Health Methodist Hospital, alleges in her lawsuit that the care providers booted high-risk, low-income pregnant women on Medicaid to the care of less-expensive midwives, then billed the government for those services at higher rates, as though doctors performed them. This Medicaid fraud scheme, ... Read More

Scientists develop customized pills through 3D printing


Medication dosing is not an exact science. There are various factors that can affect how a person’s body metabolizes a drug, which can affect how effective the medication is at treating a condition, or whether a patient suffers adverse effects. For example weight, race, and kidney and liver functions vary from patient to patient, which can increase or decrease effectiveness and side effects. If only medications could be customized to fit the individual patient. It’s not a dream, says a team of researchers from Wake Forest University, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina. They presented a study at ... Read More

Whistleblower Accuses California Governor Of Using State Resources For Personal Gain


California Governor Jerry Brown ordered state regulators to survey his 2,700-acre private family ranch in Northern California for oil and gas potential, a whistleblower who works for the state Department of Conservation claims in a complaint. Jennie Catalano, a mapping specialist who has been with the agency for nearly 20 years, says that she is also the victim of retaliation for blowing the whistle on the governor, although her complaint does not specify how the alleged retaliation occurred. According to the complaint, Ms. Catalano says she was ordered to prepare a map of the governor’s ranch for oil and gas ... Read More

Education Management Corp. Pays $99.5 Million To Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit


The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that it had reached a “landmark global settlement” with Education Management Corporation, the second-largest for-profit education company in the nation, in which the company agreed to pay $95.5 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that it used unlawful methods to recruit and enroll students to its campuses. Education Management Corporation, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., operates four post-secondary school brands: the Art Institutes, South University, Argosy University, and Brown-Mackie College. Student enrollment across the company’s schools exceeds 100,000 students. Accusations against Education Management Corp.’s practices have been raging for years, including allegations that its ... Read More