Ted Albin and his firm, Grapevine Billing and Consulting Services Inc., recently agreed to pay $50,000 to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act (FCA). It was alleged that between 2008 and 2017 Albin and Grapevine provided consulting services to the now-defunct Arriva, its parent company Alere Inc., and Abbott Laboratories, and that from 2010 until 2016 they submitted claims to Medicare that were the result of kickbacks to beneficiaries in the form of free glucometers or the routine waiver of copayments. In addition, the government alleged that the beneficiaries were not eligible for reimbursement because they had received a glucometer, paid for by Medicare, within the previous five years.
Albin, through Grapevine, served as head of reimbursement at Arriva, overseeing that department, developing policies for the collection of copays, and submitting claims to Medicare on behalf of Arriva for diabetic testing supplies.
The government produced sworn testimony from Albin in which he admitted that he personally would “write off customer co-payments,” engaged in such write-offs “probably every week,” engaged in “mass write-offs of denials by Medicare” for ineligible meters, created Arriva’s “routine policy not to send a bill for customers who owed less than $5,” and came up with the policy of “courtesy adjustments” in the form of copayment waivers in response to customer complaints about their co-insurance obligations.
The case originally included claims against Arriva and Alere that were brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Gregory Goodman, a former Arriva employee.
“The resolution of this matter brings about the conclusion of a lengthy and protracted investigation and litigation in which the United States sought and received substantial penalties and damages as a result of allegations of False Claims Act violations,” said U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee, in a news release.
As we previously wrote about, in August 2021, Arriva and Alere agreed to pay $160 million to resolve the claims against them. The United States also previously settled for $1 million claims against Arriva’s founders, David Wallace and Timothy Stocksdale, for their alleged part in the scheme.
The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale represents whistleblowers as well as those facing allegations of False Claims Act violations. Our team of attorneys can assist with creation and implementation of compliance programs that that allow you to identify and correct any problems before you become the target of an investigation. For more information call us at 305-358-4500 or email email@example.com