Thursday, February 16, 2023

OraPharma, Inc. Agrees to Pay $100,000 to Resolve Allegations of False Claims Act Violations


OraPharma, Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve allegations that the incentive compensation it paid to certain account managers, who also practiced as dental hygienists, resulted in the submission of false claims to the Medicare program. 

Headquartered in Bridgewater, N.J., OraPharma sells oral health products, including Arestin, a sustained-release antibiotic that dental providers administer locally as an adjunct to treatment for periodontal disease.

OraPharma admits in the settlement agreement that from June 2012 through December 2020, they employed account managers – including individuals who practiced as dental hygienists – to promote Arestin to dental practices. Following their retention as account managers by OraPharma, some of these dental hygienists occasionally worked in a dental office or offices in their assigned sales territories but did not disclose in certain instances this occasional hygiene practice to OraPharma as required under the company’s conflicts-of-interest policies. The account managers may have received, or were eligible to receive, incentive compensation for Arestin prescriptions that they may have recommended to Medicare beneficiaries when the account managers were performing dental hygienist duties in a dental office—i.e., while operating outside the scope of their employment with OraPharma. As a result, the United States contends that OraPharma’s payment of incentive compensation to account managers for any prescriptions reimbursed by Medicare in the offices where the account managers practiced as dental hygienists violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and thereby caused false claims to Medicare. 

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and  Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Ross and Charles Weinograd of Rollins’ Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit handled the matter. 

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