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Battery Fire Risk Prompts Latest Honda Recall

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A defective battery sensor at risk of catching fire is forcing Honda to recall approximately 2.1 million Honda Accord vehicles worldwide, Reuters reports. The vehicles are from the 2013-2016 model years and include 1.15 million vehicles in the U.S. where 3,972 warranty claims relating to the issue have already been submitted to the auto manufacturer. The sensor on a 12-volt battery may not be sealed adequately, which allows moisture to breach the seal. The trapped moisture may attract other material, such as road salt, over time that causes the sensor to rust and ultimately short circuit. At least five engine ... Read More

Supplement maker slapped with FDA warning letter

dietary supplements - pills, probiotics

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came down on a manufacturer of dietary supplements for promoting its products to treat, cure or prevent diseases, which renders them unapproved drugs as defined by federal law. In a warning letter to Dr. Carolyn Dean, who runs the website www.rnareset.com and takes orders for the products ReMyte, ReAline, ReMag, ReStructure, and ReCalcia Pico Meter Calcium, the FDA said it found that some of the website claims and testimonials “provide evidence that your products are intended for use as drugs.” For example, the company’s ReMyte boasts protection against cancer, claims to treat arthritis, to ... Read More

Lawsuit Filed Over Construction Worker Crushed to Death

Working on the Wall

A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed over a construction worker who was crushed to death by a large conveyor hoisted by cranes in Staten Island, New York. The lawsuit was filed by Maria Veloso, the wife of Antonio Manuel Veloso, who died from injuries sustained after the conveyor slammed into him. On March 10, Antonio Veloso, 54, was severely injured “when a drag slat conveyor in the process of being hoisted by two cranes operated by Cranes, Inc. and John J. Gall Crane Service Inc. and rigged by JV Trucking & Rigging LLC, were caused to swing into, strike and ... Read More

Ohio health care companies settle whistleblower allegations

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Three Ohio health care companies and their executives will pay nearly $20 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they billed Medicare for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy and hospice services. Foundations Health Solutions Inc., Olympia Therapy Inc., Tridia Hospice Care Inc., and their executives, Brian Colleran and Daniel Parker, have agreed to pay approximately $19.5 million to resolve allegations, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday, July 17. The settlement resolves two lawsuits filed by three former employees of Olympia Therapy and Tridia Hospice under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. FHS is the corporate successor to Provider Services ... Read More

Whistleblower: Wells Fargo Defrauded Mortgage Borrowers

Wells Fargo fraud

A former Wells Fargo banker has filed a lawsuit against the banking giant, accusing it of firing him in retaliation for standing up against an alleged practice of defrauding borrowers by blaming them for delays in processing mortgage applications that were the bank’s fault, then hitting them with the resulting fees. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mauricio Alaniz, a former banker at a Wells Fargo Beverly Hills unit, alleges in his federal lawsuit that the bank’s mortgage-processing and underwriting division was understaffed, resulting in chronic delays that weren’t the borrowers’ fault. Borrowers applying for mortgages are typically locked into ... Read More

Hospice groups settle whistleblower suits

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Two subsidiaries of the Compassionate Care Hospice Group have agreed to settle separate False Claims Act lawsuits filed by whistleblowers who claim the companies defrauded Medicare and other federal health care programs. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia said that Compassionate Care Hospice of Atlanta will pay the U.S. $2.4 million to resolve allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to five doctors in exchange for patient referrals and certifying patients as eligible for hospice services when they weren’t. Compassionate Care Hospice of Atlanta provided payments to a medical director in return for referrals and also created ... Read More

W. Va. law protects nursing homes against elder abuse claims

nursing home residents

A new law that went into effect in West Virginia this month gives nursing homes an added layer of protection in the event they are sued for elder abuse or neglect, or wrongful death. As of July 1, people who want to sue a nursing home have one year to file their lawsuit and and can only file it in the county in which the nursing home is located. Previously, residents and their family members had two years to file and could do so in either the county they resided or worked in. The law is just another example of how ... Read More

Whistleblower Alleges Gentiva Defrauded Medicare

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

A whistleblower lawsuit against Gentiva Health Services unsealed July 10 alleges the company defrauded Medicare by misclassifying home health care patients as hospice patients in order to boost reimbursements. Alan Stewart, an Area Vice President with Gentiva, filed the complaint in 2014 under whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. He alleges Gentiva launched a “new financial plan” in 2013 that involved recoding many patients receiving home health care as hospice patients, even when those patients did not require hospice services. According to McKnight’s, more than half of the patients who migrated from home health care to hospice care were ... Read More

AndroGel needed heart risk warning, witness says

androgel-pump

Peggy Pence, the president and CEO of pharmaceutical consulting firm Symbion Research International Inc., told an Illinois federal jury that there was enough evidence that testosterone replacement therapies may cause heart attacks that warnings should be placed on the hormone treatments’ labels and further testing should be conducted, Law360 reports. Pence told the jury in the first bellwether among thousands in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) to go to trial alleging cardiovascular risks with testosterone treatments that Abbvie had received so many reports of heart problems in patients who had used its AndroGel testosterone gel that further testing was warranted. Pence ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Recover $155 Million

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One of the nation’s largest vendors of electronic health records software, eClinicalWorks, and certain of its employees will pay a total of $155 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging they misrepresented the capabilities of their software and paid kickbacks to customers in exchange for promotional favors. The U.S. Department of Justice said that the Westborough, Massachusetts-based software firm “falsely obtained” government-required certification for its electronic health records software by concealing from its certifying agency the software’s noncompliance with federal certification requirements. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program to encourage ... Read More