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health care 120 articles

Walgreens Settles Two Whistleblower Lawsuits for $269.2 Million

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the holding company that owns the controlling shares of Walgreens Drug Stores and several other health care companies, will pay $269.2 million to settle two separate whistleblower lawsuits. In one case, Walgreens agreed to pay $209.2 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens that beneficiaries did not need. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Walgreens configured its electronic systems so that its pharmacists couldn’t dispense less than a full box of five insulin pens, ... Read More

Pain Clinic Operator Busted for Opioid, Medicare Fraud

A nurse practitioner whose New Hampshire pain clinic wrote hundreds of opioid painkiller prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries in “drive-by” office visits has pleaded guilty to charges of health care and prescription fraud, federal officials announced. New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said that Kristen Khanna, the operator of Total Pain Care and Wellness of Salem, New Hampshire, allowed a non-professional office worker to write opioid prescriptions to Medicare beneficiaries. According to the U.S. Attorney’s announcement, Ms. Khanna left the office employee with a pad of blank prescription forms that she signed. The employee would then fill them out and give ... Read More

Whistleblower Key in Recovering $8.5 Million from Tennessee Hospice Provider

A Tennessee hospice provider will pay the U.S. $8.5 million plus interest to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former nurse who claimed the company defrauding Medicare and Medicaid with false claims. The settlement resolves allegations lodged against Caris Healthcare L.P. by whistleblower Barbara Hinkle, a registered nurse who formerly worked for the hospice provider.  Ms. Hinkle sued Caris on behalf of the U.S. government under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, which helped prosecute the case, Caris sought and admitted patients into its hospice ... Read More

Walmart Pays $825,000 to Settle Whistleblower’s Medicaid Allegations

Walmart Stores and Sam’s Club have agreed to pay the U.S. and Minnesota $825,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the federal and state False Claims Acts for violating Medicaid rules for automatic prescription refills. U.S. Attorney Gregory Brooker and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson jointly announced the settlement, which they said stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. Minnesota is one of about 20 states that does not allow Medicaid beneficiaries to have their prescription drugs automatically refilled. Instead, the state’s Medicaid program, called Medical Assistance, requires beneficiaries to request refills. The state’s ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Leads To $114 Million Judgement Against Ex-Diagnostic Lab CEO, Others

Three whistleblower lawsuits played a key role in a $114 million judgment against Health Diagnostics Laboratory CEO LaTonya Mallory and two other individuals who allegedly co-conspired to pay physicians kickbacks for patient referrals and causing the submission of false claims to Medicare for diagnostic tests that patients didn’t need. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the government intervened in the whistleblower lawsuits and consolidated them in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina. During a two-week jury trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence that Ms. Mallory and co-defendants Floyd Calhoun Dent III and Robert Bradford Johnson paid kickbacks to doctors disguised ... Read More

QLaser Fraud Scheme Ends With Prison Sentences

A South Dakota man who made $16.6 million selling fraudulent medical devices called QLasers to the elderly and others with medical problems has been sentenced to prison. South Dakota federal judge Roberto A. Lange sentenced Robert “Larry” Lytle, 83, of Rapid City, to 12 years in prison, followed by two years’ supervised release for organizing and leading the fraud scheme. Mr. Lytle pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead and one count of criminal contempt. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. ... Read More

The Arc of Anchorage Settles False Claims Act Allegations

The Arc of Anchorage, an organization supporting Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has agreed to pay nearly $2.3 million to settle a False Claims Act complaint alleging it defrauded Alaska’s Medicaid Program. In an April 24 announcement, the Alaska Department of Law said the State of Alaska accused Arc of Anchorage of billing Medicaid for services that it never provided and billing for overlapping services with the same provider. Additionally, the state further alleged that Arc of Anchorage failed to repay funds owed to the Medicaid program that the organization had identified in fiscal audits. The allegations constitute violations ... Read More

Georgia Whistleblower Exposes $3.2 Million Kickback Scheme

A whistleblower who sued a group of Atlanta-area orthopedic and anesthesia providers for their alleged participation in an illegal kickback scheme has helped the U.S. government recover $3.2 million for Medicare. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the whistleblower lawsuit led to a settlement agreement between the federal government and Georgia Bone & Joint; Summit Orthopaedic Surgery Center; Southern Crescent Anesthesiology; and Sentry Anesthesia Management, as well as nurse anesthetist David LaGuardia. The whistleblower complaint, brought by Sharon Kopko, former Practice Administrator for Georgia Bone & Joint, alleged that Mr. LaGuardia, Sentry, and Southern Crescent provided a free ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Arizona Cancer Center For Alleged Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower complaint alleging an Arizona cancer treatment company cheated Medicare and other federal health care programs out of millions of dollars is moving ahead after a federal judge rejected the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case. The Republic/Arizona Central reports that the whistleblower suit alleges the Arizona Center for Cancer Care and its principals engaged in schemes to double-bill the government, overcharge for testing and treatments, and bill for medical services that patients didn’t need. The lawsuit claims these practices helped AZCCC improperly collect more than $8 million since 2011. Based in the Phoenix metro area, AZCCC operates 35 ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Recover $11.5 Million From Radiation Therapy Chain

A whistleblower who sued Sightline Health LLC, a Texas-based chain of radiation therapy centers, alleging the company assembled and operated an illegal kickback scheme has helped the U.S. government recover about $11.5 million. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it reached an agreement with SightLine and Integrated Oncology Network Holdings LLC, which acquired SightLine in 2011, to settle the whistleblower’s allegations that SightLine was engaging in an improper kickback scheme designed to boost its Medicare reimbursements. The whistleblower sued SightLine on behalf of the U.S. government under the False Claims Act. The DOJ investigated the whistleblower’s claims and chose ... Read More