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星期一, 5月 09, 2016

MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANY TO PAY MASSACHUSETTS $1.9 MILLION OVER CLAIMS OF ILLEGAL KICKBACKS TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS


MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANY TO PAY MASSACHUSETTS $1.9 MILLION OVER CLAIMS OF ILLEGAL KICKBACKS TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Alleged Kickbacks Included International Trips and other Gifts; Payment Part of $306 Million Settlement with Federal and State Authorities
BOSTON – A medical device distributor has agreed to pay nearly $1.9 million to the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) over an alleged scheme to pay kickbacks to physicians, hospitals and other health care providers, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
AG Healey joined with other states and the federal government in a settlement with Olympus Corporation of the Americas (Olympus), a medical device company that sells and distributes medical optics and imaging equipment.
“Medical device companies cannot use exotic trips and expensive gifts to lure healthcare providers into buying their products,” AG Healey said. “Illegal kickbacks undermine the integrity of our healthcare system and hurt patients.”
A whistleblower lawsuit was filed in the District of New Jersey alleging that from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2011, Olympus provided illegal kickbacks to physicians, hospital employees and representatives, and other health care providers in order to induce them to purchase Olympus equipment.
These kickbacks allegedly took the form of grants, fellowships, consulting payments, free trips, payment for recreation and leisure activities, gifts, and no-charge loans and free use of equipment. In one instance, Olympus paid for a number of physicians to travel to Japan and provided sightseeing excursions andlavish entertainment for them.
The government contends that this conduct resulted in false claims or information being submitted toMassHealth for reimbursement.
Under the terms of the national civil settlement, Olympus will pay $306 million to the 50 states, Washington D.C. and the federal government to resolve claims that its payment of kickbacks caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and federal and state False Claims Acts. Nearly $1.9 million will be paid to resolve claims relating to the Massachusetts Medicaid program.
Olympus also entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey concerning criminal allegations that it conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. 
MassHealth provides healthcare products and services to eligible low-income individuals, including people with disabilities, children and senior citizens. The joint state/federal investigation of this matter was conducted by a team appointed by the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.