Spine 360 and Surgeon to Pay $2.6 Million to Settle Anti-Kickback Allegations By Tod Aronovitz | 09/09/14 | 0 Comment

The Anti-Kickback Statute was at the center of a recent $2.6 million settlement, in which spinal device manufacturer Omni Surgical L.P., doing business as Spine 360, and Indiana spinal surgeon Dr. Jamie Gottlieb, agreed to pay the United States to settle allegations that the two parties entered into an improper financial relationship.

According to a Justice Department news release, Austin, Texas-based Spine 360 apparently paid illegal kickbacks to Dr. Gottlieb to persuade him to use the company’s products. However, the Anti-Kickback Statute limits the financial relationship between medical device manufacturers and doctors who use or prescribe their products. The goal of this law is to ensure that the medical judgment of health care providers is based in the best interests of the patient and not influenced by financial incentives.

The payments in question involved remuneration made by Spine 360 from 2007 through 2009 to an entity controlled by Dr. Gottlieb—supposedly in accordance with a series of intellectual property agreements. However, the United States disputed those claims, contending the agreements were actually shams to cover payments to Dr. Gottlieb for using Spine 360 products in his surgeries.

The Justice Department says this settlement illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and marks another achievement for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced in May 2009 by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Their partnership has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation.

The case was handled by the Commercial Litigation Branch of the department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud

Healthcare professionals or medical billing employees who have knowledge of questionable Medicare billing practices can file a confidential legal claim under the False Claims Act. By acting as a “whistleblower” in what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit, a private party may collect up to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam Law Firm

The Miami Qui Tam law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW routinely works with whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss your case.