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Justice Department Joins Whistleblower Suit Accusing UnitedHealth Group of Overcharging Medicare by “Hundreds of Millions”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined a whistleblower lawsuit, United States of America ex rel Benjamin Poehling v. Unitedhealth Group Inc., No. 16-08697 (Cent. Dist. Cal. Sep. 17, 2010), ECF No. 79, against...more

Proof by Proxy in FCA Suits? District Court Says It Depends

Admissibility of statistical sampling to prove liability in FCA suit is fact dependent. In a February 14, 2017 decision, the Fourth Circuit declined to rule on the question of whether statistical sampling can be used to...more

Fourth Circuit Takes a Pass on Statistical Sampling, Finds DOJ's Settlement Veto Authority Unreviewable

After granting the relators’ petition for an interlocutory review of the district court’s rejection of the use of statistical sampling to establish FCA liability, the Fourth Circuit ultimately declined to reach that issue in...more

You’re Fired: What Impact Will Sally Yates’ Departure Have on the DOJ’s Fraud Enforcement?

As most of the world now knows, President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates last week after she declined to defend the President’s travel ban. Dana Boente has replaced Ms. Yates, but he may not be long for the...more

“But Our Vendor Handles Everything — How Can We Still Have Fiduciary Liability?”

As the rules governing retirement and health plans grow more complex, employers often need professional help in order to keep up with the day-to-day management of the employee benefit plans they sponsor. From third-party...more

Failure to Plead Objective Falsity Dooms Cardiologist’s FCA Complaint

A number of recent FCA decisions have grappled with the question of objective falsity, particularly in the context of FCA claims where the alleged falsity is premised on a lack of medical necessity in connection with the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

The Trump Administration’s View on Marijuana: Reading the (Tea) Leaves

The incoming Trump Administration may usher in a more hostile climate to state efforts to legalize the sale and distribution of marijuana and products that contain the drug. The Obama Administration opposed the federal...more

A Liar and A Cheat? 3 Ways to Pay...

Seyfarth Synopsis: Insurer gets to pick its remedy when hospital engages in dishonest billing and illegal kickbacks…to the tune of $41 million. Judge Lynn Hughes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...more

NY Medical Providers: Use Caution When Soliciting Positive Reviews on Consumer-Review Websites

Consumers often seek online reviews of a business on platforms such as Yelp, CitySearch, Yahoo and Google Plus Pages before purchasing products or services. This includes patients seeking online reviews of a physician or...more

On Remand, First Circuit Finds Violations in Escobar Were Material

In June, the Supreme Court issued Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, a landmark opinion in which the Supreme Court addressed the standard for pleading materiality in FCA implied certification cases. The...more

The Federal Government Holds Individuals Responsible for Involvement in Corporate Healthcare Fraud and Abuse

In September 2016, three corporate officers in two healthcare fraud and abuse cases settled allegations that they were personally liable for violations of federal fraud and abuse laws. These settlements come one year after...more

[Webinar] The “Risky Business” of the Federal False Claims Act: Strategic Thinking for 2017 - December 8th, 12:00pm ET

Calling in-house counsel and top executives at government and defense contractors, health care and long term care providers, and manufacturing companies. On December 8 at 11:30 am ET, join Williams Mullen attorneys at this...more

When Can Violation of a Condition of Participation Result in False Claims Act Liability? Update on Escobar’s Materiality Standard

In June, I published a blog article on a decision of the United States Supreme Court that appeared to change the law applicable to “false certification” in the 7th Judicial Circuit Circuit. The Supreme Court decision in...more

Seventh Circuit Recognizes “Substantial Truthfulness” Defense to Tortious Interference Claims under Wisconsin Law

As we wrap up another election cycle that has kept “fact checkers” working overtime analyzing the many dubious claims by candidates of all political persuasions, the Seventh Circuit has issued a decision that reminds us of...more

When Does An Overpayment Become Fraud? How Simple Inattention Can Expose You to Penalties for Fraudulent Activities

If you are involved in any way in the health care system, it should be obvious by now that the government has committed ever increasing resources to the prosecution of fraud and abuse cases. Simply put, from a governmental...more

North District of California Misconstrues Express False Certification Liability

This summer, the Northern District of California issued an opinion in an intervened case that expanded the theory of express false certification to a startling degree. Ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court in U.S. ex rel....more

"Escobar and the Implied Certification Theory: Initial Cases Raise the Bar on Materiality in False Claims Act Litigation"

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar1 (Escobar) unanimously upheld the implied certification theory of False Claims Act (FCA) liability and strengthened...more

Seventh Circuit Applies Escobar’s Materiality Standard to (Again) Reject False Certification Claim

The Escobar and Sanford-Brown Decisions - This summer, the United States Supreme Court undertook to resolve the long-running circuit split over the validity and scope of the implied false certification theory of...more

Lincoln’s Law Becomes Even More Absurd When Applied to the Health Care Industry

When Congress originally passed the False Claims Act (31 USC §§ 3729-3733), no one had the health care system in mind. The False Claims Act was also commonly referred to as the “Lincoln Law”. The original law was focused on...more

Supreme Court Implied False Certification Case Reargued to First Circuit

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard argument in United States ex rel. Escobar, et al. v. Universal Health Services, Inc. This case was sent back...more

Recent Settlements Demonstrate the Reach and Versatility of the FCA

In recent years, civil enforcement efforts involving the FCA have grown significantly. Today, the FCA impacts a vast array of businesses, as it is commonly used to redress false claims for government funds involving...more

False Claims Act Developments Significantly Impact a Broad Range of Industries Doing Business with the U.S. Government

No other area of government enforcement or civil liability has experienced anything quite like the three dramatic developments in initiation, penalties and standards for False Claims Act cases over the last twelve months. FY...more

Recent Significant Case Law Developments Regarding What Constitutes a Reckless Interpretation of a Law and When Retention of an...

Key Points: - Learn the latest case law developments regarding what evidence the government or the relator must establish to prove that the defendant “recklessly” interpreted a statute or regulation in violation of the...more

Insights Conversations: How Government Health Care Investigations May Be Shifting

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has long had the advantage when investigating False Claims Act (FCA) cases against health care companies. However, recent changes in the courts, including a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court...more

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