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Jun 9, 2010 4:55 PM by Greg Boyce

Colorado company settles kickback complaint

A manufacturer of Cochlear implants has agreed to pay $880,000 to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement with Cochlear Americas on Wednesday.  The company in Centennial, Colorado, is a subsidiary of Australia's Cochlear Limited and officials referred all questions there. A spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by Brenda March in 2004 alleging that Cochlear was enticing doctors to prescribe its electronic hearing devices to Medicare and Medicaid patients.  Private citizens with knowledge of fraud are allowed to sue on behalf of the government. March will get $176,000 of the settlement.

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