The DOJ announced it reached a settlement with Arriva Medical, LLC (“Arriva”) and its parent company Alere Inc. (“Alere”) to resolve allegations that the companies violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act (“FCA”).
Arriva, formed in 2009, was at one point the nation’s largest Medicare mail-order diabetic testing supplier. The DOJ alleged that, from 2010 through 2016, Arriva violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by offering kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries by providing free blood glucose monitors or waiving beneficiary co-payment obligations.
Specifically, Arriva allegedly advertised that the glucometers would be “free” and then, during intake calls, offered Medicare beneficiaries a “no cost guarantee,” knowing that the beneficiaries were not yet eligible for a new glucometer or were deceased. Arriva also offered free glucometers to induce customers to continue ordering supplies from Arriva. After providing the glucometers, Arriva also waived or routinely failed to collect Medicare copayments, by failing to send invoices or collection letters, or failing to make collection calls.
Brian Boynton, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, stated that “Paying illegal inducements to Medicare beneficiaries in the form of free items and routine copayment waivers can result in overutilization and waste taxpayer funds,” and vowed to continue pursing violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
This settlement resolves claims brought under the qui tam whistleblower provisions of the FCA. The whistleblower, a former Arriva call center employee, received $28,548,749 from the total settlement.
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