Biomet paid nearly $6.1 million to settle federal charges that it paid kickbacks to doctors to induce them to use bone growth stimulators sold by its EBI subsidiary, the U.S. Justice Dept. said today.
The settlement also covers allegations that Biomet billed federal healthcare programs for refurbished stimulators, according to a press release.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Parsippany, N.J.-based EPI paid off physicians from 2001 to 2008 to use the stimulators, resulting in false billing to government insurance programs like Medicare.
The charges stemmed from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former EBI product manager Yu Yue, according to the release.
"This settlement demonstrates our resolve in ensuring that patients receive, and the government pays for, health care that is based on sound medical judgment, and not compromised by kickbacks," Massachusetts U.S. attorney Carmen Ortiz said in prepared remarks.
"Medical device companies must not use improper financial incentives to influence the decision to use their products," added acting deputy assistant attorney general August Flentje. "This settlement demonstrates the Department’s commitment to protect patients, and the taxpayers who fund their care, by ensuring that medical decisions are based on the patients’ medical needs rather than the financial interests of others."