Philips subsidiary to pay $24M for kickback violations
A Philips subsidiary agreed to pay more than $24 million to settle allegations it paid kickbacks to medical equipment suppliers to push its products ahead of other brands that are provided to patients of federal health programs.
Philips RS North America, formerly known as Respironics, manufactures durable medical equipment (DME) to aid breathing, including ventilators and CPAP machines. The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged from November 2014 through April 2020, the illegal inducements Philips provided caused suppliers to file false claims to government programs, including Medicare; Medicaid; and TRICARE, a health program for military families, according to the settlement.
The inducements were in the form of data about physician prescribing behavior, called health market science data, information which is highly valued by marketing teams of medical equipment suppliers and that Philips salespeople provided free of charge to the suppliers, according to the complaint.