The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina has assisted in reaching a settlement in a whistleblower claim against a medical equipment manufacturer.
ResMed Corp., which manufactures durable medical equipment for sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders, has agreed to pay more than $37.5 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act for paying kickbacks to suppliers, sleep labs and other health care providers, according to a news release from the office of A. Lance Crick, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.
The settlement resolves allegations that ResMed used sales and promotional schemes to induce the unlawful sales of ResMed equipment. Some of the schemes included providing free call center services, along with free and below-cost masks and machines.
The settlement resolves five lawsuits originally brought by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens with knowledge of fraud against the government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and to share in the recovery. The whistleblowers will receive about $6.2 million in a collective share of the settlement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina worked on the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, along with U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Southern District of California, Northern District of Iowa and Eastern District of New York. The Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI, among other federal organizations, were also involved in the effort.
“Health care decisions should be based on what is in the best interest of the patient, and not on financial incentives and related schemes,” Crick said in the release. “This settlement represents another example of our district’s commitment to prosecuting schemes that undermine the integrity of our nation’s health care system.”p