The HHS Office of Inspector General has launched a federal probe into complaints that CVS Caremark refilled patients' prescriptions and submitted insurance claims without the patients' knowledge, according to an official familiar with the case, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The official, who was not identified, said the investigation is focusing on a random sampling of the millions of claims that CVS allegedly submitted on behalf of customers for medications that patients did not request or collect. According to the Times, pharmacies typically submit claims when prescriptions are filled and not when customers pick them up (Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, 10/12).
CVS Caremark spokesperson Mike DeAnglais on Friday said the company had not been contacted by HHS' OIG about the investigation, while an OIG spokesperson said he could not confirm or deny the existence of such a probe, Reuters reports (Alawadhi et al., Reuters, 10/12).
According to the Times, the investigation comes after media reports highlighted CVS' drug refilling practices in California and New Jersey. In a separate case last year, CVS agreed to pay $17.5 million to resolve allegations that it falsified Medicaid claims for prescription drugs in California and nine other states.
OIG spokesperson Don White declined to comment on whether CVS' alleged unauthorized refilling practices was a violation of the settlement deal (Los Angeles Times, 10/12).