New York City The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Walgreen Co. paid $9.9 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the Medicaid programs in Minnesota, Michigan, Florida and Massachusetts, according to the Associated Press.
Walgreen charged the four states as if some Medicaid members were uninsured, the Justice Department said, when those members were actually covered by Medicaid and by private insurance. The department said Walgreen was entitled to a copay, but instead, charged the difference between what the insurance companies paid for the drugs and what the Medicaid programs would have paid if the members were uninsured, according to the report.
The Department of Justice did not say in its statement whether Walgreen acknowledged any wrongdoing in the settlement. The extent of the alleged overcharging was also unknown, but appear to have reached $3.3 million at most.
"In a False Claims Act case, the government can collect up to three times the amount of the fraud," said department spokesman Charles Miller.
The payments were made to the four states and to the U.S. Walgreen pharmacists Daniel Bieurance and Neil Thompson, who reported the overcharging, will divide approximately $1.4 million of the award.