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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces $33.2 Million Settlement with Alere over Medicare and Medicaid False Claims

Release date:
7/26/2018

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein announced today that North Carolina has settled with Alere Inc., a medical device maker that an investigation determined had knowingly sold unreliable diagnostic testing devices to hospitals. The settlement is joined by the federal government and all 50 states. The total settlement is $33.2 million, of which North Carolina will receive $459,033.22. North Carolina’s funds will go toward restitution and other recovery. “Providing faulty test equipment for patients, and then asking the government to pay for it, is dangerous and wrong,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office will continue our work to keep fraud out of these important healthcare programs to protect North Carolina’s patients.”

Between 2006 and 2012, Alere sold hospitals its Triage devices, which are used in emergency departments to diagnose acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, drug overdose, and other serious conditions. Information uncovered during the Department’s investigation indicated that Alere continued to sell the product even after it received multiple complaints from providers that it may create false positives and false negatives that adversely affected clinical decision-making. Alere failed to take action as a result of these warnings. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration issued a national product recall. The investigation led to allegations that Alere knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims for the Triage devices to be submitted to, or caused purchases by, Medicaid.

The North Carolina settlement agreement was reached by the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice and the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance. A team appointed by the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the investigation and conducted settlement negotiations with Alere on behalf of the settling states.

About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)

Attorney General Stein’s MID investigates fraud and abuse by healthcare companies and providers, as well as patient abuse and neglect in facilities that are funded by Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that helps provide medical care for people with limited income. To date, the MID has recovered more than $500 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina.

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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