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OIG Releases Fiscal 2014 Report to Congress

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released its Semiannual Report to Congress (Report) last week summarizing health care fraud investigation activities for the...more

Buy High, Sell Low, and Restrict Competition: The Allegations Underlying the Government’s Case Against DaVita and the Implications...

On October 22, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., one of the nation’s largest dialysis companies, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Total Renal Care, Inc. (collectively, “DaVita”), agreed to pay $389 Million to settle...more

California’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act: 3 unsettled issues the health sector should understand

California’s Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, Ins. Code §§ 1871 et seq. (IFPA), is an unusual false claims statute. It allows “interested persons” (aka whistleblowers or relators) to file false claims lawsuits based on the...more

Changing Basic Rules of the Game: CMS Proposed Rule Relating to ACO Governance and Contracting

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a new proposed rule for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). This advisory expands upon our initial...more

6 Questions To Ask Before An Internal Investigation

Every company, large or small, will eventually face a problem that requires an internal investigation. Boiled to its essence, an internal investigation is really nothing more than a way to obtain information to avoid or solve...more

Presidential Memo Authorizing the Exercise of Authority under Public Law 85-804

On November 13, 2014, the President gave the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) authorization to exercise authority under Public Law 85-804, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), to the same...more

The False Claims Act and the Health Care Industry: 2014 Year in Review

On Nov. 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced settlements and judgments for False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases totaling $5.7 billion (compared to $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2013), $2.3 billion of which was...more

11th Circuit Brings Back Part of Whistleblower Suit

According to the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former health care executive that exposed a kickback and illegal referral scheme by his employer will be allowed to proceed with certain allegations listed...more

Federal Judge Awards Attorneys’ Fees to Defendant in Dismissed Qui Tam Case, Calls Whistleblower a “Serial Relator”

In November 2013 and this past October, Mintz Levin’s Health Care Qui Tam Update highlighted three separate qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by Fox RX, Inc. (Fox), a former Medicare Part D plan sponsor. Fox filed...more

GPO Fees Under Scrutiny by the GAO

Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining group purchasing organization (GPO) practices. The GAO questioned whether the current structure of GPO funding through administrative fees is...more

The OIG Work Plan: Does OIG Always Know Best?

Provider Compliance Departments routinely set audit priorities based, in part, on OIG’s Work Plan, but what should a provider do if it disagrees with a position that the OIG takes? Providers should be prepared to defend their...more

Seventh Circuit Limits the Use of the Federal Assignment Law under the False Claims Act

It’s common in the healthcare industry for large insurers to negotiate discounts from pharmacies for prescription drugs. The federal government, the granddaddy of all insurers, does this too, when it negotiates discounts on...more

Administration Publishes Fall 2014 Unified Regulatory Agenda

We expect 2015 to be a very busy year for actions on new or proposed federal regulations in the absence of congressional legislation. That was confirmed on November 21, 2014, when the administration published its “Unified...more

GAO Takes Aim at GPOs

The GAO had drawn a bead on GPOs. In a report issued yesterday the Government Accountability Office expressed concern over the effect of GPOs (group purchasing organizations) on Medicare rates. The report recommended that...more

DOJ Announces Record Year of Over $5 billion in False Claims Act Recoveries

2014 was a banner year for federal recoveries under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). In a press release dated November 20, 2014, the DOJ announced that its total recoveries – including those from both settlements and judgments –...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Confirms that Employers May Lawfully Choose Not to Hire a Job Applicant with a Prior History as a False...

Some employers in the health care and other industries who regularly deal with the federal government and are subject to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) have felt helpless in trying to weed out serial whistleblowers in the...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recent Developments & Unsealed Cases: November 2014

Trends & Analysis - In the period covered by this issue, we have identified 68 whistleblower cases related to health care that were unsealed. In this Qui Tam Update, we analyze the trends and take an in-depth look at...more

Blog: DOJ’s Record Year for FCA Recoveries Includes $2.3 Billion for Health Care Fraud

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that it recovered a record $5.69 billion in civil False Claims Act (FCA) settlements during fiscal year 2014. This recovery included $2.3 billion for FCA cases involving...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Pharmacy Billing Medicaid For Drug Prices Above Private Rates Is Not Fraudulent

On November 12, 2014, the Seventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of a False Claims Act action challenging a retail pharmacy chain’s practice of billing Medicaid for the price differential between the higher Medicaid-negotiated...more

Eleventh Circuit Limits Scope of FCA Whistleblower Suit

Late last month, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated portions of a former executive’s False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower action against Health Management Associates Inc. (“HMA”),...more

Orthopedic Patient Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

It’s well known that Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers hate the ever-increasing trend of hospitals buying facilities and practices and then charging provider-based (i.e., higher) rates than the facilities and...more

DC Circuit Dismisses Appeal By Three Hospitals Challenging Subcontractor Status

On November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed as moot an appeal by three hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospitals had challenged...more

Vascular Solutions Inc. and its CEO Face Criminal Charges for Selling Unapproved Medical Devices

Last week, the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an indictment charging Vascular Solutions Inc. (VSI) and its CEO Howard Root with (1) selling medical devices without the approval of the U.S. Food...more

Government turns up the heat with the False Claims Act – 5 action steps for healthcare providers

Forbes magazine has dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Whistleblower.” For healthcare providers, this designation has translated into millions of dollars in fines and penalties and the initiation of criminal investigations. ...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

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