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athenahealth to pay $18.25 million for alleged kickbacks over sale of EHR solution

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 01, 2021
Business Affairs Health IT

The False Claims Act permits private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and share in the recovery. The government under the act may intervene and take over the action, which it did in both of these cases. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the exchange of favors, goods or monetary offers for service referrals that are payable by a federal program.

The lawsuits are the United States ex rel. Sanborn. v. athenahealth, Inc., No. 17-cv-12125 (D. Mass.) and United States ex rel. Lovell and McKusick v. athenahealth, Inc., No. 17-cv-12543 (D. Mass.). The settlement resolves the allegations in both.

The share of the award for the whistleblowers in relation to the settlement has not yet been determined.

This case is being handled by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

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