N.C. getting $900K in national settlement

Bryan Cohen Oct. 25, 2011, 12:51pm


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that the state will receive nearly $900,000 as part of a national settlement with a chain of nursing homes.

Mariner Health Care Inc. allegedly accepted kickbacks from pharmaceutical company Omnicare Inc. Cooper alleged that Omincare paid millions of dollars to Mariner and, in exchange, the nursing home company directed its patients to Omnicare for their prescription drug purchases. Mariner will pay the states and the federal government $14 million in civil damages and penalties.

"We're working to keep medical costs down and save taxpayers' money by aggressively going after fraud by health care providers and drug companies," Cooper said.

The state of North Carolina will receive $897,808.03 for state and federal Medicaid efforts. Marine will also face additional scrutiny by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cooper's Medicaid Investigations Unit has recouped over $400 million over the past decade and helped to convict more than 450 individuals on criminal charges including patient abuse, neglect and financial fraud.

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