Search Site
Menu
Whistleblowing to the Tune of $6 Million

In early July 2013, Baxano Surgical Inc., formerly known as TranS1 Inc., agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges that it encouraged doctors to overcharge Medicare and other federal health programs and paid kickbacks to doctors. Baxano did not admit to wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

The charges

Facing three charges, Baxano agreed to pay the large fine to settle before trial. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that Baxano coaxed healthcare providers to submit false claims with incorrect diagnosis or procedure codes for minimally invasive spine fusion surgeries using Baxano’s AxiaLIF System. From the false claims, the healthcare providers received greater reimbursement than they were rightfully due for performing the AxiaLIF procedures. The DOJ also alleged that Baxano gave kickbacks to doctors for participating in consultant meetings and speaking programs to induce them to use Baxano’s products. This violated the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which makes it illegal to offer or give money to induce referrals for items or services. Lastly, the DOJ argued that Baxano promoted AxiaLIF for uses outside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval.

The settlement

To avoid trial, Baxano agreed to pay $6 million to the United States. In addition, Baxano agreed to participate in a corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. Baxano plans to implement procedures and reviews to avoid and quickly detect illegal conduct similar to what was charged by the DOJ.

One million reasons to blow the whistle

The $6 million civil settlement resolved a lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower provision. Kevin Ryan filed a qui tam claim under the False Claims Act, which authorizes individuals to initiate a legal action on behalf of the United States for false claims. As part of the settlement, Ryan received $1,020,000.

Before filing a qui tam suit, it is advisable to speak to an experienced Texas whistleblower attorney. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra