Medtronic Inc. will pay nearly $10 million to settle federal claims that it paid kickbacks to doctors to implant pacemakers and defibrillators made and sold by Medtronic.
The settlement of a False Claims Act allegation by federal prosecutors in Sacramento was announced Wednesday.
The company was accused of convincing doctors to use its products by paying the physicians for speaking engagements to increase referral business, developing business plans for doctors at no cost and supplying tickets to sporting events.
“As this settlement indicates, health care executives who try to boost profits by paying kickbacks to doctors will instead pay the government for their improper conduct,” said Ivan Negroni, agent in charge of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office in San Francisco.
The settlement grows out of a whistleblower complaint filed by a former Medtronic employee, Adolfo Schroeder, who will receive $1.7 million for his disclosures.
The allegations were that Medtronic caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid by using illegal kickbacks to encourage doctors to implant Medtronic products in patients.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a prepared statement that the settlement was not a determination of liability.