Texas-based Orthofix, Inc., a medical device manufacturer, has settled civil and criminal charges related to its sale of bone-growth stimulator devices. The settlement requires Orthofix to pay $34 million to the United States to settle the civil charges and plead guilty to felony obstruction of a federal audit, as well as pay a $7.8 million criminal fine.
The civil charges were initially brought by whistleblower, Jeffrey Bierman, in a lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblower’s complaint alleged that Orthofix 1) misstated the true cost of its devices resulting in inflated invoices to federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid; 2) paid illegal kickbacks and referral fees to physicians to induce the use of Orthofix products; 3) caused the submission of falsified certificates of medical necessity; and 4) did not advise patients of their right to rent, rather than purchase, Orthofix products.
The criminal charges were related to Orthofix’s failure to disclose information concerning certificates of medical necessity, during a June 2008 audit by a Medicare contractor. Five Orthofix employees previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges in related matters.
As his reward, the whistleblower, Jeffrey Bierman, will receive $9.2 million of the settlement amount.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.