Bryan Cohen Sep. 3, 2014, 1:57pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced on Tuesday that Rhode Island will receive $172,513 for the state's Medicaid budget as part of a multi-state and federal settlement with an Ohio-based pharmaceutical provider.

Omnicare Inc. allegedly offered improper financial incentives to skilled nursing facilities in return for their continued selection of Omnicare to supply Medicaid recipients with drugs. Omnicare also allegedly entered into below-cost contracts to supply pharmaceutical drugs and prescription medication to the facilities and their resident patients to induce the facilities to pick Omnicare as their pharmacy provider.

The federal and state governments alleged Omnicare's conduct violated the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and resulted in the submission of false claims to multiple Medicaid programs.

"Companies that engage in illegal behavior to line their pockets at the expense of patients and taxpayers will not be tolerated," Kilmartin said. "As Medicaid is one of the largest items in our state budget, every dollar of fraud and abuse we can recover adds to the financial health of a vital safety net program."

Under the terms of the settlement, Omnicare agreed to pay $16.48 million to the federal and state governments. Rhode Island will receive $172,513 as its portion of the settlement.

The settlement resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit initially filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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