Whistleblower accuses Medtronic of bribery scheme at Kansas hospital

A whistleblower case filed in 2017 against Medtronic recently became unsealed, CNBC reported July 12. The lawsuit accuses the medical device company of bribing employees at a Kansas VA hospital to buy "grossly excessive inventory."

The suit centers on how Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., treated peripheral artery disease. To remove plaque buildup and restore blood flow in patients with the disease, usually one to two devices are deployed: peripheral drug-coated balloons and a peripheral stent. 

The hospital allegedly used 17 devices for one procedure — all from Medtronic. 

The whistleblower is Tom Schroeder, who was a Becton Dickinson sales manager when he filed the suit and is now an area vice president, according to CNBC. He said he heard rumors of Medtronic bribing healthcare workers to purchase and use unnecessary devices.

Medtronic told CNBC Mr. Schroeder's claims are false.

In 2018, the hospital launched an independent investigation without knowledge of Mr. Schroeder's lawsuit after the medical director noticed high spending in one department. The medical center uncovered more than $5 million in extra costs. 

Read more here about the ongoing case.

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