Feds join whistleblower

Sunday, April 4, 2004

April 5, 2004

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -  The federal government has joined a lawsuit against the owners of several medical supplies companies, contending they paid kickbacks for Medicare and TRICARE patient referrals, according to a report April 1 in the Birmingham News.
Named as defendants in the suit, filed in north Alabama's U.S. District Court, are Gerald Max Burleson; Frances R. Burleson; Haleyville Medical Supplies, Inc.; Care Medical of Jasper; Care Pharmacy Inc. and Winfield Medical Supply Inc.
Prosecutors claim in the suit the Burlesons paid kickbacks to certain pharmacists and other individuals, some of whom may have been employees of the Burlesons companies, in exchange for the referral of Medicare and TRICARE patients for furnishing items or services reimbursable by the insurers.
The suit was initiated in 2001 by Brent McNutt, who worked for Haleyville Medical and City Pharmacy from 1992 to August 1996 as a delivery technician. He worked again at Haleyville Medical from October 1997 through January 2001, delivering DME and later as a sales representative.