May 23, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that Missouri is participating in a national settlement with Walgreens that returns $42,000 to the state’s Medicaid program.
According to Koster, the settlement resolves allegations that, between January 1, 2005, and June 11, 2010, Walgreens unlawfully offered gift cards and gift checks to influence individuals who participated in government health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare to transfer their prescriptions to Walgreens’ pharmacies.
Under both Missouri and federal law, health care providers are prohibited from making any type of payment to induce government-sponsored health care program participants to purchase particular goods or services provided under those programs.
Nationally, Walgreens will pay participating states and the federal government $7.9 million in civil damages for the Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, and Federal Employees Health Benefits programs. This amount is based on the total amount Walgreens offered in gift cards and gift checks. Medicaid programs nationwide will receive $643,230 of the settlement, with the rest going to other federal programs.
“All parties involved with the Medicaid program must follow the rules,” Koster said. “I am pleased we were able to recover these funds and return scarce health care dollars to the state of Missouri.”
Koster said citizens should report suspected Medicaid provider fraud or abuse and neglect to his Medicaid Fraud Hotline toll free at 800-286-3932, e-mail the complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a complaint form at the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Website at http://ago.mo.gov/divisions/medicaid-fraud-control-unit-faqs.htm.