Omnicare Inc., the largest nursing home pharmacy company in the country, has agreed to pay $124.24 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations initially brought by two whistleblowers, the Department of Justice announced. The settlement resolves allegations that Omnicare gave improper financial incentives to skilled nursing facilities in exchange for the facilities’ selection of Omnicare’s drugs for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Specifically, it was alleged Omnicare entered into “below-cost contracts to supply prescription medication and other pharmaceutical drugs to skilled nursing facilities and their resident patients to induce the facilities to select Omnicare as their pharmacy provider.” Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio stated that “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 direct or indirect bribes, payments or rewards – or the solicitation or offers of such remuneration – in connection with practically every aspect of health care when any portion of those goods or services are paid for with federal dollars. Compliance with the provisions of the Anti-Kickback Statute is a condition of payment within Medicare and Medicaid, and other federally-funded programs. Violations of the statute can create liability under the False Claims Act when persons or entities submit, or cause others to submit, claims for payment to Medicare or Medicaid with knowledge that the underlying transactions were in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute prohibitions.
The first-to-file whistleblower, a former Omnicare employee, will reportedly receive $17.24 million.
If you have an Anti-Kickback Fraud case, please contact the Rabon Law Firm for a free consultation.