March 12, 2018 - Posts

Whistleblower Roundup – March 12, 2018

A look back at the week’s news and developments affecting whistleblowers


Abiomed impella heart pump false claims act

Abiomed, Inc. Agrees to Pay $3.1 Million to Resolve Kickback Allegations

Medical device company Abiomed, Inc. has agreed to pay $3.1 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by treating physicians to lavish meals in order to persuade them to use Abiomed’s Impella line of heart pumps. According to the Department of Justice, Abiomed paid kickbacks to physicians in the form of extravagant dinners, which often exceeded the comapany’s guideline of $150 per person. They also misrepresented the number of attendees and invited the spouses of the physicians, who had no legitimate business purpose for attending the meal. The whistleblower, a former employee of Abiomed, will receive $542,500 of the settlement.


Natera, Inc. to Pay $11 Million for False Claims Allegations

The California-based genetic testing company Natera, Inc. has reached an $11 million settlement to resolve a False Claims Act case, the Department of Justice announced. The case alleged that Natera, Inc. improperly billed TRICARE, FEHB, and Medicaid programs for genetic testing services, including its non-invasive prenatal test Panorama®. Natera, Inc. will also settle state-level Medicaid fraud claims for nearly $760,000.


Pennsylvania Hospital and Cardiology Group Agree to Pay $20.75 Million to Settle Allegations of Kickbacks and Improper Financial Relationships

The Department of Justice announced that Erie, Pennsylvania-based hospital UPMC Hamot (Hamot) and cardiology practice Medicor Associates Inc. (Medicor) have agreed to pay $20.75 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that they submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid programs that violated the Anti‑Kickback Statute and Stark Law. The lawsuit alleges that Hamot paid Medicor $2 million per year to secure patient referrals. The lawsuit was filed by former Medicor employee Dr. Tullio Emanuele, who will receive receive $6 million of the $20.75 million settlement.


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