GE Healthcare, a branch of General Electric, has paid the government a settlement of $30 million plus interest for improper billing by a company it bought in 2004, officials said Thursday.
The case over Amersham Health Inc. concerned claims filed under the False Claims Act, according to which the company caused the Medicare program for the elderly to overpay for a drug used to diagnose heart disease.
The government alleged Amersham Health provided false or misleading information to Medicare regarding the number of doses available from vials used in treatment, which meant Medicare paid at artificially inflated rates.
The whistleblower in the suit, James Wagel, will receive $5.1 million from the government's recovery, officials said.
"It's important for drug manufacturers to provide accurate pricing information to Medicare so that taxpayers aren't overcharged for medicines purchased with their dollars," said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Division.
"As this case demonstrates, we remain committed to ensuring that Medicare funds are expended efficiently and appropriately," he added in a statement.