July has been a busy month for the Department of Justice. The DOJ announced several large settlements this month.
- Suboxone settlement. Reckitt Benckiser Group plc has agreed to pay $1.4 Billion to resolve criminal and civil liability for the marketing of Suboxone, an opioid drug used by recovering addicts. This is the largest settlement reached by the federal government in a case related to opioids.
- Universal Health Services has reached a “tentative” settlement to resolve criminal, civil, and state attorneys general claims for $127 million. The alleged bad conduct is related to unusually high admission rates and long patient stays at Universal behavioral health facilities. Presumably, a corporate integrity agreement will also be required as part of the settlement.
- A Philadelphia-area addiction treatment center has agreed to$2.85 million to end whistleblower claims that the center billed Medicaid and other federal programs for detoxification treatment for patients who did not meet the medical criteria set by the government. The center also signed a 5-year corporate integrity agreement.
- Millcreek Community Hospital agreed to pay $2,451,000 and enter a 5-year corporate integrity agreement to resolve FCA violations, including that the Hospital billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary inpatient rehabilitation services.
These settlements clear make that whistleblowers stand to profit handsomely from reporting bad conduct. The settlements also reinforce that anyone operating the health care industry must have a robust compliance program that monitors the conduct of the corporation.