Just before year-end, GE healthcare agreed to pay $30 million to the United States Department of Justice. The case was filed by a salesman in Michigan. James Wagel alleged that a company owned by GE healthcare marketed a diagnostic drug used in cardiology testing improperly. The drug involved in the case is named Myoview.
The case is very interesting in that GE healthcare acquired Nycomed Amersham. Nycomed, a New Jersey company, allegedly told doctors how to “stretch” the drug. The drug enables doctors to see blood flow in a patient's heart and helps the doctor detect coronary heart disease. Some doctors were using less than the total amount of the solution during the diagnostic procedure. By using less than the total amount of the solution, the doctors were able to “stretch” the number of procedures completed with the same amount of solution. The doctors then charge Medicare for the procedure.
Unfortunately, the diluted product sometimes resulted in false positives during cardiology testing and exposed the patient to additional and unnecessary testing.
These drug “stretching” cases have been around for years. In this particular case it was a solution that was being used in other cases. It may be a liquid treatment, pills or other types of treatments which are used to overbill the government.
If you are witness to illegal “stretching,” contact a qualified New Jersey whistleblower lawyer.