US Department Of Justice Fined An Oxygen Equipment Provider $11.4 Million For Violating ‘False Claims Act’

Oxygen Equipment Provider Pays $11.4 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

US Department of Justice

The Department of Justice announced today that Braden Partners, L.P., doing business as Pacific Pulmonary Services, has agreed to pay $11.4 million to resolve allegations against it and its general partner, Teijin Pharma USA LLC, for violating the False Claims Act by submitting claims for reimbursement to Medicare and other federal healthcare programs for oxygen and related equipment supplied in violation of program rules, and for sleep therapy equipment supplied as part of a cross-referral kickback scheme with sleep clinics.

“This settlement demonstrates our continued pursuit of health care providers who take advantage of federal healthcare programs,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will investigate and take action against providers who cut corners and pay kickbacks.”

California-based Pacific Pulmonary Services furnishes stationary and portable oxygen tanks and related supplies, and sleep therapy equipment, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure masks and related supplies, to patients’ homes in California and other states. The government alleged that, beginning in about 2004, Pacific Pulmonary Services began submitting claims to the Medicare, TRICARE and Federal Employee Health Benefits programs for home oxygen and oxygen equipment without obtaining a physician authorization, as required by program rules.

Beginning in 2006, certain of the company’s patient care coordinators also allegedly agreed to make patient referrals to sleep testing clinics in exchange for those clinics’ agreement to refer patients to Pacific Pulmonary Services for sleep therapy equipment. The government alleged that this conduct violated the Anti-Kickback Act, which prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid and/or other federally funded programs.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to taking all appropriate action against companies that disregard patients’ medical needs in pursuit of company profits,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch for the Northern District of California. “Patients in federal health care programs expect and deserve medical care that is free from any undue influence and complies with the program safeguards that are in place to protect patients.”

“Home oxygen equipment and related supplies are some of the most fraudulently billed items of durable medical equipment,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven J. Ryan of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Medicare suppliers more concerned with profits than compliance will be met with investigation and enforcement.”

This settlement resolves allegations filed in a lawsuit by a former sales representative of Pacific Pulmonary Services, in federal court in San Francisco, California. The lawsuit was filed by Manuel Alcaine under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. The Act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case. Mr. Alcaine will receive $1.824 million of the recovered funds.

The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California, the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the various other agencies that administer the federal health care plans at issue.

The case is captioned United States ex rel. Alcaine v. Braden Partners, L.P., dba Pacific Pulmonary Services, et al., Case No. 10-cv-4597 (N.D. Cal.). The claims resolved by the settlements are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.

[Source: US Department of Justice -/- Media Relations]
[photo credits-featured image: inserted by openeyesopinion.com credits embedded]

###


 




 



Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 openeyesopinion.com
Share This Post
Share on Facebook0Share on Google+2Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Pin on Pinterest0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0Digg thisShare on Yummly0Share on Tumblr0Buffer this pagePrint this pageEmail this to someone





Related News

  • The U.S. Navy’s Newest Submarine Enters Service This Year
  • Medical Device Makers Fearful Of Impending Ransomware Cyber attacks
  • China – Chinese Citizens Are Turning Into Migrants In Their Own Nation
  • Watch The Live Streams Of Memorial Day Concert And Parade
  • U.S. Secretary Of Defense, Jim Mattis, Speaks At ‘National Military Survivor Seminar’ At The Pentagon
  • Why Is The ‘Political Left’ Obsessively Preoccupied With ‘Islamophobia’ While Thousands Of Christians Are Being Slaughtered?
  • America’s Unseen And Forgotten, Homeless Veterans With Families
  • Nigerian Cyber-Criminals Extradited From South Africa, One Sentenced to 115 Years In U.S. Prison
  • By Building Children’s Resilience Early In Their Lives, We Can Better Prepare Them To Grow Into Healthy Adults
  • Memorial Day Weekend, Here Are 4 Ways To Support Military Veterans In The US, Be Aware Of Scams
  • New Healthcare Evidence, Since Obamacare Went Into Effect, Average Premiums Have More Than Doubled Nationwide
  • Arrested Muslim In Minnesota Released, Was In Possession OF A Loaded AK-47, Rifle, Handgun,Thousands Of Rounds Of Ammunition, A Drone, A Grenade,Multiple Electronic Bomb-Making Devices
  • Researchers At ‘University Of Rochester Medical Center’ May Have Figured Out A Way To Halt The Progression Of Cancer
  • U.S. Marines On Training Mission To Assist Afghan Soldiers And Police In Helmand Province
  • U.S. Navy Seabees Build A Medical Clinic In Djibouti To Serve The Populace
  • Hackers Using Malicious Subtitle Files Can Take Control Of Media Devices