Atricure pays $3.76 million to settle whistleblower suit alleging variety of False Claims Act violations

by Ben Vernia | February 2nd, 2010

Atricure, Inc., a cardiac device manufacturer in West Chester, Ohio, has paid $3.75 million to the US to settle claims first brought by a whistleblower, the Department of Justice announced on February 2. According to DOJ’s press release:

The settlement resolves allegations that the West Chester, Ohio-based company marketed its medical devices to treat atrial fibrillation (the most common cardiac arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm), a use that is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Atricure also allegedly promoted expensive heart surgery using the company’s devices when less invasive alternatives were appropriate, advised hospitals to up-code surgical procedures using the company’s devices to inflate Medicare reimbursement, and paid kickbacks to health care providers to use its devices. The United States asserted that by engaging in this conduct, Atricure knowingly violated the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims in violation of the False Claims Act.

Of the $3.75 million, the relator will receive a share of $625,000 (16.67%).

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