Attorney General Gansler Secures Nearly $10K for Md. in Kickback Case
Settlement resolves allegations against medical equipment company
Baltimore, MD (March 15, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Maryland has joined with the federal government and other states in reaching a settlement agreement with Medtronic, Inc. The agreement settles allegations that Medtronic provided kickbacks to physicians in order to encourage them to implant Medtronic pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators ("ICDs") in patients. Under the agreement, Medtronic will pay the states and the federal government a total of $23.5 million. Maryland will receive $9,678 from the settlement.
"This settlement sends the message that tampering with the delivery of medical services carries severe consequences," said Attorney General Gansler. "Any company that attempts to boost its bottom line using underhanded tactics is asking for a similar outcome."
Between 2003 and 2011, Medtronic conducted post-market clinical studies and device registries that served as vehicles to pay kickbacks to physicians who participated in these studies and registries. The kickbacks allegedly influenced physicians to implant Medtronic pacemakers and ICDs in patients. Specifically, Medtronic paid each physician who participated in a clinical study or registry. In order to be eligible to participate in the study or registry, a new or previous implant of a Medtronic device was required.
Moreover, Medtronic handpicked certain physicians for the clinical studies and device registries, either to convert their business from a competitor's product or to persuade the physicians to continue using Medtronic products.
A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units comprised of members from the Attorneys General offices in New York and Florida participated in the investigation and represented the interests of the states during negotiations with Medtronic.