Respironics to pay $34.8M over re-supply program
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Philips Respironics has agreed to pay $34.8 million to resolve alleged False Claims Act violations for paying kickbacks to DME providers that bought its CPAP masks, the Department of Justice has announced.
The government alleges that from April 2012 to November 2015 Respironics waved the per-patient per-month fee for its medSage automated resupply services for DME providers that bought the company’s masks. If they used a competitor’s masks, the company charged a fee.
“The payment of illegal remuneration in any form to induce patient referrals threatens public confidence in the healthcare system,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer, head of the Justice Departments’ Civil Division. “Americans deserve to know that when they are prescribed a device to treat a serious healthcare problem, they supplier’s judgment has not been compromised by illegal payments from equipment manufacturers.”
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the knowing and willful payment of any remuneration to induce the referral of services or items that are paid for by a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare. Claims submitted to these programs in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute are also false claims under the False Claims Act.
Respironics will pay roughly $34.14 million to the federal government and roughly $660,00 to various state governments based on their participation in the Medicare program.
The settlement resolves a lawsuit originally brought by Dr. Gibran Ameer, who has worked for different DME companies, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Under the settlement, he will receive $5.38 million of the federal share of the recovery.