June 29, 2015 / 4:46 PM / 4 years ago

Walgreen settles Medicaid false billing case in New York

NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) - Walgreen Co will pay $2.55 million to settle charges by New York’s attorney general that a pharmacy unit improperly billed Medicaid for costly drugs to treat hemophilia patients, without proof that it actually delivered the drugs to those patients.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday said his audit of Medicaid billings by Trinity HomeCare LLC found improper conduct and false billings from 2007 to Sept. 2011.

He said these related to eight patients in New York City and one on Long Island, and included one instance where drugs were simply left for a patient in the hallway of an apartment building.

The case was originally brought by a former Trinity employee who accused the pharmacy of pushing infusion drugs to manage hemophilia symptoms, and billing Medicaid for excess quantities.

Hemophilia is a disorder that slows blood clotting, and can result in excessive bleeding after an injury. It has no cure.

“Pharmacies that deliver drugs to Medicaid patients must document that the patient received that medication-and in the right amount,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

Walgreen is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, and this year sold a majority stake in Trinity’s parent Walgreens Infusion Services to private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. That business is now known as Option Care.

Michael Polzin, a Walgreen spokesman, said the Deerfield, Illinois-based company settled to avoid the delay, expense and uncertainty of litigation, and did not admit liability. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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