Bloomberg News

GE Healthcare Pays $30 Million to Settle Medicare Fraud Case

January 04, 2012

(Updates with company statement in sixth paragraph.)

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co.’s health-care unit will pay more than $30 million to settle claims that a company it bought in 2004 provided false information to Medicare to pad billings for a drug used to diagnose heart disease, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The fraud settlement announced yesterday involving the drug Myoview sold by Amersham Health Inc. resolves claims filed under the False Claims Act. The law allows whistle-blowers to pursue fraud claims on behalf of the federal government and then share in any recovery.

“It’s important for drug manufacturers to provide accurate pricing information to Medicare so that taxpayers aren’t overcharged for medicines purchased with their dollars,” Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who heads the department’s civil division, said in a statement.

The Justice Department has recovered more than $8.7 billion under the False Claims Act since January 2009, the largest-ever three-year total, West said at a Dec. 19 briefing for reporters.

James Wagel, the whistle-blower in the suit against GE Healthcare Inc., will receive $5.1 million from the government’s recovery.

“GE Healthcare is pleased to have reached a resolution in this long-standing case,” said Aleisia Gibson, a company spokeswoman.

--Editors: Mary Romano, Peter Blumberg

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at sstern14@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.


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