A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a former Cardinal Health executive’s qui tam action accusing five physician practices of accepting kickbacks because the allegations closely mirrored those laid out in a then-pending complaint against Cardinal by Omni Healthcare.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton for the District of Massachusetts concluded Sept. 7 that an amended complaint filed by Michael Mullen, former senior vice president and general manager of the Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions Group, against five physician practices, Birmingham Hematology and Oncology Associates, Oncology Specialties, Dayton Physicians, Northwest Medical Specialties, and Health First Medical Group, was barred by the “first-to-file rule” of the False Claims Act.

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