This week, I joined other state attorneys general and the federal government in announcing a $13.5 million settlement with NuVasive that requires the company to make significant payment to settle claims that they caused health care providers to submit false claims to Medicaid and other federal health care programs for spine surgeries. NuVasive, a California-based medical device manufacturer, paid the states and the federal government $13.5 million dollars, including $2,182,348 to the Medicaid program. $30,373 of the settlement is attributed to Kentucky Medicaid claims related to the NuVasive practices.
My colleagues and I alleged that, between 2008 and 2013, NuVasive promoted the use of CoRoent System for surgical uses that were not approved or cleared by the FDA. The settlement also resolves allegations that NuVasive caused physicians and hospitals to submit false claims to Medicaid and other federal health care programs for certain spine surgeries that were not eligible for reimbursement. Finally, the settlement resolves allegations that NuVasive knowingly offered and paid illegal remuneration to certain physicians to induce them to use the CoRoent System in spine fusion surgeries, in violation of the federal anti-kickback statute. To read more about this settlement, please see our press release.
Earlier this month, a data breach was reported from Experian servers concerning T-Mobile customer information. This breach affected approximately 15 million consumers nationwide, including more than 134,000 Kentuckians. The accessed data included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and driver’s license numbers of current T-Mobile customers and consumers requiring a credit check for service or device financing from Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015.
Experian is sending letters to affected individuals with information about the breach and how to enroll in two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft resolution services offered by Experian. Experian is also offering free security freezes on Experian’s credit reports to the affected consumers. To enroll in these services and view other information about the data breach, please visit Experian’s website at: http://www.experian.com/data-breach/t-mobilefacts.html
I recommend the following tips, compiled by my Office of Consumer Protection, to help keep you safe from identity theft:
• Stay informed by checking Experian’s website for updates about the data breach.
• Take advantage of the free credit monitoring and identity resolution services offered by Experian and consider the free credit freezes on your Experian credit report. Check Experian’s website for information.
• Consider placing a free “fraud alert” on your credit reports. Fraud alerts notify businesses that check your credit reports that they should verify identity before issuing credit in your name. You can sign up by contacting any major credit bureau: Equifax, 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com ; TransUnion, 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com ; Experian, 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com .
• Check your credit report for accounts you do not recognize or that have been placed in collection without your knowledge.
• Monitor your credit and bank accounts for unauthorized transactions. Contact your financial institution immediately if you find such transactions.
• Beware of “phishing” calls and emails from callers and websites urging you to give up personal information. Do not provide your social security number, credit card or other personal information in response to unsolicited emails or calls.
Becoming a victim of a data breach can be a frustrating and stressful experience. If you have been impacted by this recent cyberattack on Experian, I encourage you to take advantage of the free credit monitoring and identity protection services being offered by the company. Additionally, consumers can always find a step-by-step toolkit and other resources designed to assist identity theft victims on our website
. The faster you detect identity theft, the sooner you can report and correct it.