U.S. Government Joins Lawsuit Against Abbott Companies
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, March 05, 2019 05:41 PM

Billions of dollars are wasted annually in the United States on “low value” health care services such as unnecessary diagnostic tests, trips to the emergency room, and avoidable surgeries.  

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a six-year-old lawsuit against companies bought by Abbott Laboratories in which they’re accused of submitting false Medicare claims for unnecessary devices for diabetic patients and paying kickbacks to the patients.  The lawsuit alleges Florida-based mail-order diabetic testing supply company Arriva Medical and parent Alere, a Massachusetts-based medical device firm that acquired Arriva in 2011, required all new customers to receive "free upgrades" of glucometers and then submitted false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary meters.

Abbott acquired Arriva and Alere in September 2017. Arriva stopped operating shortly after it was purchased by Abbott as a result of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revoking its ability to bill Medicare after the company billed the program for medical equipment for a patient who died.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2013 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and to receive a share of any recovery.

Source:  https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20190221/NEWS/190229975