Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell recently announced that the state will receive $81,708 in restitution and other recoveries as part of a $16.5 million national civil settlement with Omnicare Inc.
Omnicare Inc. is the nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes. The company allegedly created commercially unreasonable contracts to supply pharmaceutical drugs in return for the skilled nursing facilities' continued selection of the company to supply drugs to Medicaid recipients.
This alleged incentive arrangement, according to the federal government and a whistleblower who was a former nursing home owner, violated the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and analogous state statutes. These statutes are intended to ensure that the selection of health care providers and suppliers is not compromised by improper financial incentives but is instead based on the best interests of the patient.
The statutes strictly prohibit offering, paying, soliciting or receiving payment to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded programs.
The lawsuit was originally filed by the former nursing home owner in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.