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Wal-Mart pays out $1.65 million for allegedly violating False Claims Act

1962: The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. paid $1.65 million to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act when the company knowingly submitted claims for reimbursement to California's Medi-Cal program that were not supported by applicable diagnosis and documentation requirements.

"These Medi-Cal regulations are essential to protect both patients and limited heath care funding," said U.S. Attorney Talbert. "My office will continue to hold pharmacies accountable when they fail to comply with regulations like these."

Walmart, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, operates over 290 retail stores in California; approximately 283 of these locations have pharmacies.

Friday's settlement resolved allegations that Walmart failed to confirm and document the requisite diagnoses, and in some instances dispensed drugs for non-approved diagnoses, then knowingly billed Medi-Cal for these prescriptions.

The allegations resolved by this settlement were first raised in a lawsuit filed against Walmart under whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by a pharmacist who has worked at Walmart locations in the greater Sacramento area. The whistleblower in this matter will receive approximately $264,000 of the recovered proceeds.

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