Imaging company ordered to pay $8.5M to settle kickback allegations

A Maryland-based imaging company has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to clients to secure further business. 

The Department of Justice alleges that, starting in June 2006, Trident USA Health Services would provide mobile X-ray services to its skilled nursing facility clients at below market rates. SNF clients would then refer lucrative federal healthcare business back to the Sparks, Maryland, company in exchange for those lower prices. 

Two whistleblowers and former employees of Trident—which also does business as MobilexUSA—alerted the DOJ about the scheme and will collect more than $2 million for their role in the investigation. Trident filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but justice officials said in a statement that it will not preclude it from paying the settlement. 

“Companies that violate the False Claims Act through illegal swapping arrangements, or by any other illegal scheme violating federal laws designed to protect the public fiscally, will not find a safe harbor in bankruptcy court,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier said in a statement.

The settlement is based on allegations, with no determination of liability made in court. Trident USA Health did not immediately respond to a Radiology Business request for comment.