March 27, 2015 — A federal anti-kickback statute makes it a crime to pay doctors to recommend drugs or medical devices that are reimbursed by federal healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Since the Anti-Kickback Statute was amended in 2010, violations of this statute automatically violate the federal False Claims Act. When medical product manufacturers make improper payments or kickbacks to doctors, a physician’s judgment about a patient’s health care can be motivated more by the doctor’s financial gain than the patient’s best interests. The qui tam language of the Act gives health care workers and others who discover illegal kickback scams a way to bring a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the government. Informants keep a share of the government’s financial recovery.
Patient Safety Consultant Allegedly Took Kickbacks to Influence Powerful Committee to Endorse CareFusion’s Products
A California doctor will pay $1 million to settle False Claims Act allegations involving kickbacks from CareFusion Corporation.
Dr. Charles Denham, a patient safety consultant, served as co-chair of the Safe Practices Committee of the National Quality Forum in 2009 and 2010. The committee reviews, recommends and endorses measures for the practice of standardized healthcare. Pursuant to an agreement that Denham made in 2008 with CareFusion, Denham reportedly received monthly payments that he did not disclose to anyone associated with the National Quality Forum or the committee of which he was co-chair. The U.S. government alleged that Denham sought the payments in return for his influence in helping CareFusion to obtain the National Quality Forum’s endorsement of ChloraPrep, CareFusion’s product for preoperative skin preparation. The payments from CareFusion to Denham allegedly violated the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal False Claims Act.
Since January 2009, False Claims Act cases have led to the U.S. Justice Department’s recovery of more than $15.2 billion in cases of health care fraud involving Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and other federal healthcare programs.
Contact Us to File a Lawsuit Targeting Unethical Kickback Schemes
While Waters & Kraus is not handling this particular case involving kickback schemes, we are representing whistleblowers in similar lawsuits. If you have comparable claims against a different medical device maker or medical provider, contact us or call our qui tam attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can work together to notify the government about fraud and abuse. Our qui tam lawyers, such as Paul Lawrence in the firm’s Washington D.C. area office, are committed to advancing and protecting informants’ interests in whistleblower lawsuits.