Dr. Charles Denham, a former leader of the National Quality Forum's Safe Practices Committee, has agreed to pay the federal government $1 million to settle allegations that he accepted cash in exchange for influencing the committee's recommendations.
Denham admitted more than a year ago that CareFusion Corp. paid his company more than $11 million, but he said at the time he was surprised to see the U.S. Justice Department describe the money as kickbacks meant to influence national quality-of-care guidelines published by the NQF. The allegations were outlined in a $40 million settlement agreement that the government reached with CareFusion, although Denham was never named as a defendant in a Justice Department complaint.
The settlement does not include a determination of liability. Attempts to reach Denham for comment late Monday afternoon were unsuccessful.
In 2008, Denham received regular payments from CareFusion (which Becton, Dickinson and Co. plans to buy for $12.2 billion) while heading the NQF's Safe Practices Committee, which reviews, endorses and recommends standardized healthcare performance measures and practices, according to the Justice Department. Denham did not reveal those payments to the committee and received them in exchange for influencing the NQF's recommendations and for promoting a CareFusion product, ChloraPrep, according to the government.
The government also alleged the payments tainted claims made for ChloraPrep to federal healthcare programs, violating the False Claims Act.
Denham, a patient-safety consultant, operates the consulting company Health Care Concepts and the research organization Texas Medical Institute of Technology.
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