DFine, a California provider of vertebral augmentation devices, agreed to resolve Justice Department allegations of false claims for $2.9 million. The government charged DFine with using customer surveys as vehicles to pay participating physicians kickbacks to induce them to use DFine devices. The government alleged that DFine paid $500 to a physician who provided product information, which was coupled with the sale of a new device to the physician’s patient. All of the payments were alleged to be in violation of the federal Anti-kickback statute. The government claims were based on the complaint of a whistleblower who received $250,000 for reporting the alleged conduct. As part of the settlement, DFine will enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the government to avoid similar conduct in the future.
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