The nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes will pay $124.24 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to secure contracts to supply drugs to nursing homes with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. “Omnicare provided improper discounts in return for the opportunity to provide medication to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “Nursing homes should select their pharmacy provider based on the best quality, service and cost to the residents, not based on improper discounts to the nursing facility.” The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by federally funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
The settlement resolves allegations brought in two lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. The lawsuits alleged that Omnicare submitted false claims by entering into below-cost contracts to supply prescription medication and other pharmaceutical drugs to skilled nursing facilities to induce the facilities to select Omnicare as their pharmacy provider. The facilities were participating providers under agreements with Medicare and Medicaid. In that capacity, Omnicare submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicare and Medicaid for drugs Omnicare supplied to the facilities.
Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered more than $13.9 billion in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. If you need more information on the whistleblower litigation contact Lance Gould, Archie Grubb or Andrew Brashier, lawyers in our Consumer Fraud Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Lance.Gould@beasleyallen.com, Archie.Grubb@beasleyallen.com or Andrew.Brashier@beasleyallen.com. Each of these lawyers handles whistleblower litigation for the firm.
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