Medical Device Maker to Pay $13m in False Claims Case
Berlin-based Biotronik, a medical device manufacturer, has agreed to pay a multimillion dollar settlement due to healthcare fraud allegations claiming that the company violated the False Claims Act. The company produces technologies for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases and is based in Oregon. The Department of Justice claims that the firm paid certain physicians to chose its pacemakers, defibrillators, and other medical devices over others. This means that false claims were made to state-run Medicare and Medicaid programs, therefore violating the False Claims Act.
According to the DoJ, one way in which the company made this happen was via the new employee training program in which physicians were paid for an excessive number of training or training events that never occurred. Therefore, the money paid to physicians for using the products was disguised as legitimate. The DoJ also alleges that Biotronik offered payments for holiday parties, winery tours, and lavish meals that served no actual business purpose. In addition, international business class airfare was offered as a form of payment for using the devices. The DoJ states that when medical devices are used in surgical procedures, the patients deserve to know that the device was selected based on its quality, not payouts.