4 Corners Pharmacy, a retail pharmacy located in Spring Hill, Florida, has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle allegations of fraudulent billing. The U.S. Department of Labor accused the pharmacy of knowingly billing for a compound supplement that was never ordered or delivered to beneficiaries. The Department of Labor provides benefits to eligible claimants who were injured or became ill on the job, or to their families under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg emphasized the importance of pharmacies not billing federal programs for medications that were never delivered or ordered by healthcare providers. This settlement reflects the government’s determination to hold accountable those who exploit federal healthcare programs. It serves as a warning to all pharmacies to ensure that their billing practices are in compliance with the law.
The Office of Inspector General, which investigates allegations of fraud involving the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, also emphasized their commitment to protecting the integrity of the DOL’s workers’ compensation programs. Mathew Broadhurst, the special agent-in-charge for the Southeast Region of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, highlighted their ongoing collaboration with the OWCP in combating fraudulent activities.
The settlement includes the resolution of claims brought by private individuals on behalf of the United States under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. These provisions allow private parties, known as whistleblowers, to file actions on behalf of the government and receive a portion of any recovery if the case is successful.
This case serves as a reminder to pharmacies and healthcare providers of the consequences of fraudulent billing practices. It underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of federal healthcare programs and the commitment of government agencies to investigate and prosecute those who engage in fraudulent activities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is 4 Corners Pharmacy accused of?
4 Corners Pharmacy is accused of knowingly billing the U.S. Department of Labor for a compound supplement that was neither ordered nor delivered to beneficiaries.
What benefits does the Department of Labor provide?
The Department of Labor provides benefits, including compensation and payment of medical expenses, to eligible claimants who were injured or became ill on the job, or to their families under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act is a federal law that allows private individuals, known as whistleblowers, to file actions on behalf of the government in cases of fraud. If successful, whistleblowers can receive a portion of any recovery obtained by the government.
How does the settlement benefit private individuals?
The settlement resolves claims brought by private individuals on behalf of the United States under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. If the government takes over the case and obtains a judgment or reaches a monetary agreement with the defendant, whistleblowers can receive a portion of the recovery.