COLORADO SPRINGS — Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that Colorado will receive more than $1 million after a settlement with Essilor, an optical lens company.
Essilor paid providers kickbacks to refer patients to their company resulting in the submission of false claims to the Colorado Medicaid program. In the settlement, Essilor agreed to pay 35 states a total of $22 million with interest.
“Kickbacks like those Essilor offered can harm consumers by leaving them with products that are not in their best interest. In this case, the kickbacks affected some of the most vulnerable Coloradans,” Weiser said.
The settlement resolves allegations that between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2016, Essilor knowingly and willfully offered to pay or paid eye care providers, to purchase Essilor products for their patients, including Medicaid beneficiaries. Essilor’s actions violated the Federal and Colorado’s False Claims Statute and resulted in the submission of false claims to the Colorado Medicaid program.
This settlement arises from two whistleblower lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
As part of the settlement, Colorado will receive $1,096,985.36 in restitution and other recoveries. To report potential Medicaid fraud, go to Attorney General’s website or call (719) 508-6696.