Mass. lawsuit says Purdue Pharma contributed to opioid crisis | Court revives Medicare fraud charges against Tenn. senior living provider | Owner of N.J. lab involved in bribery scheme gets 6 years in prison
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut-based manufacturer of OxyContin and other opioid drugs, and 16 of the company's executives and board members. The lawsuit accuses Purdue of contributing to the country's opioid crisis by deliberately marketing opioids as non-addictive and safe for long-term use and encouraging higher rates of prescribing.
An appeals court revived a $35 million whistleblower lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living, a senior living and home health care provider in Brentwood, Tenn., overturning a federal court's dismissal of the case last year. In the lawsuit originally filed in 2012, a former employee accused Brookdale and its subsidiaries of submitting millions of dollars worth of fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services that failed to meet reimbursement requirements.
David Nicoll, former co-owner of New Jersey-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services who admitted to orchestrating a bribes-for-lab-test referrals scheme that resulted in more than 50 convictions or guilty pleas, was sentenced to six years in federal prison. Nicoll and his brother, Scott, the lab's other co-owner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering for their role; Scott Nicoll is awaiting sentencing.
Four firms and six people agreed to pay a settlement totaling $15.2 million to resolve accusations that they conspired with one another to avoid repaying $2.7 million owed to Texas' Medicaid program. As part of the settlement, three people were prohibited from participating in the state's Medicaid program and two others were banned from owning and running companies that offer services to Medicaid recipients, state Attorney General Ken Paxton said.
Researchers found that an automated system developed to detect ventilator-associated events among mechanically ventilated patients produced accuracies of 85%, 99% and 100% in identifying ventilator-associated condition, infection-related ventilator-associated complication and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia, respectively, compared with accuracies of 71%, 98% and 87% for manual surveillance. The findings, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology and based on 1,234 intensive care unit patients, showed that the automated system uses EHR data for antibiotic initiation, leukocytosis or leukopenia to analyze physiologic data.
The Therepi device, developed by researchers from the US and Ireland to allow delivery of medication directly to damaged heart tissue after a heart attack, was found to enable successful delivery of multiple doses of stem cell-based medication to the damaged hearts of rats over four weeks, leading to better cardiac function compared with no treatment or a single injection. The implant, to be sutured to the heart's scar tissue, consists of a gelatin-based polymer reservoir with a permeable membrane underside and a thin tube that leads to a portal in the patient's skin, researchers reported in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
You can't afford to miss this year's NHCAA Annual Training Conference. Each year, NHCAA designs educational content designed to advance your investigation skills through preconference programs, 60 concurrent sessions, as well as specialized two-hour workshops that drill down on topics of critical importance.
NHCAA's Rising Trends program, scheduled June 19-21 in Baltimore, consists of three one-day programs on trending issues in health care: Outpatient Facility Fraud, Examining Emerging Trends, and Abusive Pharmaceutical Practices. Travel to one location and participate in three unique, intense training programs. Registration is open!