Philips To Pay $29M In Two Alleged False Claims Act Violations

In that lawsuit, the Pittsburgh-based producer of durable medical equipment was accused of paying bribes to product vendors. According to the DOJ, Respironics made illegal payments to its suppliers in exchange for them filing claims for ventilators, oxygen concentrators, CPAP and BiPAP machines, and other respiratory devices with government reimbursement programmes such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the military-focused Tricare.

The manufacturer reportedly also provided its suppliers with unfettered access to physician prescribing data, which might enable them target their marketing efforts to individual physicians.

Respironics agreed to pay the federal government $22.62 million in settlement, plus an additional $2.13 million to specific states whose Medicaid programmes were impacted by the alleged kickback scheme. The former Respironics employee who filed a whistleblower complaint with the DOJ will get approximately $4.3 million of the government's portion.

In addition, the Philips subsidiary signed a five-year arrangement with the US Department of Health and Human Services. Under those circumstances, it would be forced to perform frequent evaluations of its sales force and referral relationships, and that compliance programme will be reviewed by an independent monitor chosen by the HHS inspector general's office.

According to an emailed statement provided by Philips to its Respironics division's business leader, settling this claim will allow the manufacturer to put this matter behind and retain the focus on the clients and the patients. The company has a strong compliance policy in place, and will work with the appropriate authorities to meet the conditions of the settlement. The customers and the patients should be unaffected by this arrangement.

The other agreement was made public earlier this week. It is about Philips' North American business, which is domiciled in Massachusetts and has agreed to pay the DOJ $4.2 million.

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