Pharmacies play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the medications they need to recover from illnesses or injuries. However, when a pharmacy knowingly bills federal programs for medications that were never delivered or ordered, it not only undermines the integrity of the system but also puts financial strain on the government. 4 Corners Pharmacy in Spring Hill recently found itself in this predicament and has agreed to pay a hefty settlement of $800,000 to resolve the allegations.
The U.S. Department of Labor provides benefits to eligible claimants through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. These benefits include compensation and payment of medical expenses for individuals who were injured or fell ill while on the job. It was discovered that 4 Corners Pharmacy had billed the Department of Labor for a compound supplement that had neither been ordered nor delivered to the beneficiaries.
U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg emphasized that pharmacies are strictly prohibited from billing federal programs for medications that were not received by the beneficiaries or were never prescribed by their healthcare providers. This settlement reflects the government’s determination to hold accountable those who attempt to exploit federal healthcare programs.
The Office of Inspector General, responsible for investigating allegations of fraud involving the U.S. Department of Labor’s programs, stated that protecting the integrity of the agency’s workers’ compensation programs is a crucial part of their mission. Mathew Broadhurst, special agent-in-charge for the Southeast Region of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, expressed their commitment to working with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs to uncover fraudulent activities.
This civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought forward by private individuals on behalf of the United States under the qui tam (commonly known as “whistleblower”) provisions of the False Claims Act. These provisions empower private parties to file actions on behalf of the government and receive a portion of any recovery if the case is taken over by the government and results in a judgment or monetary agreement with the defendant.
– Source: [Patch.com](https://www.patch.com/florida/newportrichey/new-port-richey-pharmacy-pays-800k-settlement)