The former chair of a National Quality Forum safety committee has agreed to pay a $1 million civil fine to settle allegations he violated the False Claims Act by soliciting and accepting kickbacks, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Charles Denham allegedly received kickbacks from California-based CareFusion Corp.’s so-called “predecessor-in-interest” when he co-chaired the NQF’s Safe Practices Committee in 2009 and 2010, according to published reports. The Justice Department said it believed Denham received the funds as an inducement to promote ChloraPrep products, which are used to prepare a surgical patient’s skin before an operation.
CareFusion Corp. earlier agreed to pay $40.1 million to settle those allegations. Denham has vigorously denied any wrongdoing in settling the case and called the allegations “blatantly false.”
The NQF reviews evidence and makes recommendations on best practices that are considered the gold-standard by healthcare providers nationwide, ProPublica noted. According to the Justice Department, the alleged kickbacks “caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims for ChloraPrep to the government’s health care programs.” The NQF said publicly it was confident that none of its guidelines were corrupted to favor the company.