Medtronic, Inc., a Fridley, Minnesota company, is alleged to have used various types of payments as incentives to physicians for implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators. Under the False Claims Act, the company agreed to pay 9.9 million dollars to resolve these allegations.
Medtronic induced the physicians to implant these devices by: paying the physicians for speaking engagements to increase the flow of referrals; create business and marketing plans for the physicians without any cost; and the physicians were also given tickets to sporting events. It was alleged by the United States that Medtronic used these means to cause false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid. It was alleged that Medtronic used these means to encourage the physicians to continue to use their products or to begin using their products as an alternative to competitor’s products.
A former employee of Medtronic, Adolfo Schroeder, was the whistleblower who brought the case under the provisions of the False Claims Act. He will receive approximately 1.73 million dollars. The Department of Justice’s Civil Division; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California; and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worked together in settling this claim with Medtronic, Inc.
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