The U.S. Justice Department today reported that Olympus (TYO:7733) will pay approximately $306 million to 50 states, Washington D.C. and the federal government to resolve claims of kickbacks that caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs.
The settlement comes after a whistleblower lawsuit was filed in the District of New Jersey alleging that between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2011, Olympus provided illegal kickbacks to physicians, hospital employees and reps and other healthcare providers to encourage them to purchase the company’s equipment, federal prosecutors said.
Kickbacks in the case allegedly took the form of grants, fellowships, consulting payments, free trips, payments for recreation and leisure activities, gifts and no-charge loans and free use of equipment, the Justice Department said.
Federal prosecutors said that in 1 case, Olympus paid for a lavish trip to Japan, including sightseeing and entertainment for a group of physicians.
“Medical device companies cannot use exotic trips and expensive gifts to lure healthcare providers into buying their products. Illegal kickbacks undermine the integrity of our healthcare system and hurt patients,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a press release.
Included in the deal is $1.9 million that will be paid to Massachusetts’ MassHealth Medicaid program, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Olympus reportedly entered into a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey over criminal allegations that it conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback statute.