Walgreens Took Advantage of Medicaid and PatientsTue, Jan 29, 2019
Arkansas to receive more than $1 million
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with the federal government and other states to settle two separate allegations against the Walgreen Co., or Walgreens, totaling $1,054,839.77 for Arkansas.
“Walgreens took advantage of Medicaid and its patients with their unacceptable business practices,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Walgreens must be held accountable for their actions which hurt patients and taxpayers.”
The first settlement resolves allegations that, between January 2006 and December 2017, Walgreens under reported the number of days that insulin pens should last if the patient used insulin strictly according to the prescriber’s directions causing the federal government and state Medicaid programs to pay for more insulin than certain patients needed. Under the terms of the settlement, Arkansas will receive $127,966.49 of the $209.2 million settlement.
The second settlement resolves allegations that, between January 2008 and December 2017, Walgreens submitted claims to state Medicaid programs in which the prices it identified as the usual and customary prices for certain prescription drugs that it sold through the Prescription Savings Club program were higher than the prices it charged for those drugs to customers who did not participate in the program. The total settlement is $60 million, of which Arkansas will receive $926,873.28.
The settlements were negotiated by several states’ Medicaid Fraud Control Units and the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units.
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Dentist for Illegally Billing MedicaidMon, Jan 28, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a North Little Rock dentist for making false statements on billing records to the Arkansas Medicaid Program.
Dr. Brian Moore, 47, of Maumelle, is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services not rendered between January 24, 2016 and December 31, 2017, totaling about $9,000. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Moore was arrested today at his North Little Rock business. He is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony and a Class A misdemeanor.
“Moore has taken advantage of his young Medicaid patients and the Arkansas Medicaid Program,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will not tolerate people cheating the Medicaid system and will continue to prosecute those who abuse this important safety net.”
Records indicate Moore submitted false dental information on patients between the ages of 2 and 21 so that the recipient’s dental conditions appeared they needed to receive, and were eligible for, various dental services, such as amalgam and resin composite fillings in order to bill the Medicaid program.
This investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the two State dental managed care companies, Delta Dental of Arkansas and Managed Care of North American, and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rutledge Announces February Mobile Office ScheduleThu, Jan 24, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for February.
Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans.
Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.
Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.
The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:
Tuesday, Feb. 5
10:30 a.m. to noon
CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs Senior Center
301 Broadway St.
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Thursday, Feb. 7
10:30 a.m. to noon
Central Arkansas Development Center Benton Senior Wellness and Activity Center
1800 Citizens Drive
Benton, AR 72015
Tuesday, Feb. 12
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Cabot Senior Citizens Center
506 N. Grant St.
Cabot, AR 72023
Friday, Feb. 15
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Conway Senior Center
705 E. Siebenmorgen Road
Conway, AR 72032
Thursday, Feb. 21
10:30 a.m. to noon
Arkansas County Cooperative Extension Service – DeWitt office
1009 Liberty Drive
DeWitt, AR 72042
Tuesday, Feb. 26
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Star City Senior Citizens Center
201 N. Drew St.
Star City, AR 71667
Thursday, Feb. 28
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Jackson County Senior Life Center
400 N. Pecan St.
Newport, AR 72112
Rutledge Hosts Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution TrainingWed, Jan 23, 2019
More than 300 attend
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today partnered with the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute to host the Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution training. More than 300 law enforcement officers, coroners and prosecutors attended.
“We are losing too many of our friends and loved ones to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is imperative those on the front lines know how to address and examine the information at the scene. While the number of overdose deaths is absolutely heartbreaking, I fear the numbers are even greater as people may be unaware of the tell-tale signs of heroin and fentanyl deaths.”
The training covered drug overdose death investigation techniques, discussed legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations. The training also addressed drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl and highlighted proper evidence handling and protocols.
The purpose of the training was to change the mindset from accident to homicide in responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths, including what evidence to look for, documenting the death scene, electronic evidence, witness and suspect interview techniques, search and seizure issues, legal theory and case development, intelligence gathering and sharing, officer safety with dealing with drugs like fentanyl, and case analysis.
Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combatting the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 12,000 students. In November, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provided training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.
Rutledge Reaches Settlement Over Illegal Promotion of Hip ImplantsTue, Jan 22, 2019
Arkansas to receive $1.7 million
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she has joined 45 attorneys general to reach a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its wholly-owned subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. to settle allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices. Arkansas will receive $1.7 million in the settlement.
“Today’s settlement helps to ensure that doctors and patients have necessary and accurate information when considering implant options,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Surgeons who implant devices like these metal-on-metal hip replacement systems need to have the most up-to-date information concerning patient outcomes.”
The Attorneys General allege that DePuy engaged in deceptive practices in its promotion of the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices by making misleading claims as to the longevity, also known as survivorship, of metal-on-metal hip implants. DePuy advertised that the ASR XL hip implant had a survivorship of 99.2% at three years when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported a 7% revision rate at three years. Similarly, DePuy promoted the Pinnacle Ultamet as having a survivorship of 99.8% and 99.9% survivorship at five years when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported a 2.2% three year revision rate in 2009 increasing to a 4.28% five year revision rate in 2012.
Some patients who required hip implant revision surgery to replace a failed implant experienced persistent groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis, as well as a build-up of metal ions in the blood. The ASR XL was recalled from the market in 2010. DePuy discontinued its sale of the Pinnacle Ultamet in 2013.
As part of the settlement, DePuy has agreed to reform how it markets and promotes its hip implants, including:
- Advertised claims of survivorship, stability or dislocations will be based on scientific information and the most recent dataset available from a registry for any DePuy hip implant device.
- Maintain a post market surveillance program and complaint handling program.
- Update and maintain internal product complaint handling operating procedures including training of complaint reviewers.
- Update and maintain processes and procedures to track and analyze product complaints that do not meet the definition of medical device reportable events.
- Maintain a quality assurance program that includes an audit procedure for tracking complaints regarding DePuy products that do not rise to the level of a medical device reportable event but that may indicate a device-related serious injury or malfunction.
- Perform quarterly reviews of complaints and if a subgroup of patients is identified that has a higher incidence of adverse events than the full patient population, determine the cause and alter promotional practices as appropriate.
Arkansas was joined in the settlement, which was led by South Carolina and Texas, by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Rutledge Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Mon, Jan 21, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day of service.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for all Americans to reflect on the work of a man who was tireless in his dedication to freedom and justice for all,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Communities around Arkansas will pause today to reflect and celebrate Dr. King and his dream of equality for citizens across the country. But today is not only a day of remembrance; it is also a day to honor his memory by giving back and serving our communities where it is needed most.”
Rutledge attended the Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock.