Essilor International, Essilor of America Inc., Essilor Laboratories of America Inc., and Essilor Instruments USA (Essilor), headquartered in Dallas, Texas has settled a case of alleged Medicaid fraud. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes optical lenses and equipment used to produce optical lenses. Pursuant to the settlement, Essilor will pay the United States and 35 states a total of $22 million plus interest.
The settlement resolves allegations that between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2016, Essilor knowingly and willfully offered or paid kick-backs to eye care providers to bribe providers into exclusively ordering and purchasing Essilor products for their patients, including Medicaid beneficiaries. The government alleges that the Essilorâ€™s conduct violated the Federal False Claims Statute and South Dakota statutes, and resulted in the submission of false claims to the South Dakota Medicaid program.
According to a statement from A.G Mark Vargo's office
, however, "the settlement is neither an admission of liability by Essilor, nor a concession by South Dakota that its claims are not well founded."
The total settlement amount recovered by South Dakota is $56,009.03, of which $31,286.18 will be retained by the federal government for the federal Medicaid share. The remaining $24,722.85 will go to the state general fund to offset alleged Medicaid damages in this case.
This settlement came after two whistleblowers filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (â€œNAMFCUâ€) participated in the settlement negotiations on behalf of the states. The South Dakota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the South Dakota Department of Social Services assisted in recovering the settlement money.
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--Breeauna Sagdal- Health and Policy Journalist for The Dakota Leader
|Post Date: 2022-09-07 11:03:28||Last Update: 2022-09-07 11:20:44|