The United States Department of Justice announced that it was seeking to intervene in a whistleblower suit alleging that St. Jude Medical, Inc. violated the False Claims Act.
The suit, originally filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, alleges that St. Jude made illegal payments to physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to induce them to prescribe its medical products, including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Specifically, St. Jude used post-market studies and device registries as mechanisms to pay physicians illegal kickbacks for using its products. The suit also alleges improper payments to physicians for entertainment and travel, including trips to luxury resorts and tickets to sporting events. The lawsuit contends these payments were illegal kickbacks, in violation of the False Claim Act and the Medicare-Medicaid Anti-Kickback Act.
In its motion in support of its motion for intervention, the government stated that it “found good cause to allege that St. Jude caused the submission of false claims by using four post-market programs – the AWARE, ASSIST, and HOUSECALL PLUS studies, and the ACT registry – as kickback vehicles.” The Government plans to file its own complaint by the end of the month.
The whistleblower in this case is represented by Nolan and Auerbach, P.A. To see the Department of Justice memo in support of intervention, click here. For more information about qui tam law and Medicare fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.