In December, 2011, news sources reported that yet another medical company has agreed to a monumental fine based upon a the U.S. Justice Department investigation. The world's largest heart device manufacturer, Medtronic Inc., created recurring pattern of paying kickbacks to doctors who used their devices. The voluntary settlement by Medtronic was just another "cost of doing business" which also involved prosecution in Minnesota and California. We commend the whistleblowers who reported ths violations of the False Claims Act. They were rewarded with a $3.96 million from the federal recovery.
The company caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid by using two post-market studies and two device registries as vehicles to pay participating physicians illegal kickbacks to induce them to implant its pacemakers and defibrillators, the Justice Department said in the statement.
Medtronic is certainly not new to this came as they voluntarily settled a similar claim for $40 million for False Claims Act violations that occurred from 1998 to 2003. Medtronic is no stranger to our practice as our partners were involved in steering committees which hammered out almost $400 million in settlement money for two Medtronic products: $268 Million Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Settlement, $118 Million Medtronic Defibrillator Settlement