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Abbott Labs pays $ 160 million for recoveries, false diabetes claims



(Reuters) -Abbott Laboratories will pay $ 160 million to resolve allegations that two of its entities made false claims to Medicare by providing kickbacks to diabetic patients, including "free" or "free" glucose monitors, US Department of Justice said.

Monday's settlement resolves allegations that Arriva Medical LLC – once the largest provider of diabetes testing from Medicare – and its parent Alere Inc. violated federal law on false claims from 2009 to 2016 by diverting Medicare's funding from where it was. needed.

The Department of Justice said that Arriva provided free glucose monitors or glucometers to get patients to order more test accessories and routinely waived payments.

Arriva was also accused of systematically charging Medicare, a US government health plan, for glucometers given to unqualified patients, and of filing claims for 21

1 patients who had been dead for at least two weeks.

Abbott, an Illinois-based medical equipment and nut ritional products company, bought Alere for $ 4.5 billion in October 2017.

Arriva discontinued operations two months later. Its founders, David Wallace and Timothy Stocksdale, agreed in April 2019 to pay $ 500,000 each to settle the Department of Justice's claims over the alleged kickbacks.

In a statement, Abbott did not comment on the settlement, but said that Alere revealed the issue in his financial reports. The defendants did not admit responsibility.

Gregory Goodman, a whistleblower and former employee of $ 15 an hour at an Arriva call center in Antioch, Tennessee, will receive $ 28.5 million from the settlement.

"Do something that deceives the government or the Medicare program, it is Americans who stop paying for it," said Goodman, who turns 60 this week and recently retired from a career in sales, said in an interview. moving on was pretty easy. ”

Mr. Goodman's attorney, Jerry Martin, a former U.S. attorney in Tennessee, said in an interview: "It shows the power of the False Claims Act and how it can be used to achieve great results."

False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to sue on behalf of the federal government and share recoveries.

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