Monday, October 6, 2008

San Francisco's McKesson Corp. Steals From The Frail

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 3:21 PM

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By John Geluardi

The Feds have joined a lawsuit against San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation, which alleges that the medical supplier submitted false claims to Medicare, paid illegal kickbacks and set up a sham company to cover its tracks.

The Department of Justice announced today that it has entered into the lawsuit, which was first filed by an individual whistleblower named Thomas F. Jamison. The suit involves several companies including McKession Medical Surgical Medinet, and Arkansas-based Beverly Enterprises, which operates 345 nursing homes, 18 assisted living centers and 56 hospices.

In the scam, Beverley Enterprises was able to pocket millions in Medicare payments in exchange for referring medical supply business to a sham company, Ceres Strategies Services Inc., which was really operated by McKesson.

Confusing? It wouldn’t be corporate fraud if it wasn’t. But what it boils down to is that McKesson and its partner in crime, Beverly Enterprises, are accused of stealing millions of dollars from the elderly and disabled, who are insured by Medicare.

It’s not the first time McKesson, a fortune 500 company, has been sued for ripping off the most vulnerable among us. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a suit against McKesson in May that alleged the company made millions by bilking 50,000 low-income San Franciscans by illegally raising the markup on more than 400 brand name prescription drugs.

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