Medicare False Claims Act (FCA)

News & Analysis as of

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

Check Up on Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions

Chief compliance officers face an overwhelming level of risk in the healthcare sector. I do not mean to belittle the risks of corruption, AML, sanctions and other risks typically associated with global companies. Healthcare...more

Are Changes to the Stark Law on the Way?

Congress has acknowledged that the Stark law is standing in the way of the healthcare industry's transition to alternative, value-based payment models, and in turn, meaningful reform may soon be on the horizon. Last...more

Senate Finance Committee Explores Revisions to Stark Law

At a July 12, 2016 hearing entitled “Examining the Stark Law: Current Issues and Opportunities,” members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressed openness to potentially significant amendments to the Stark Law aimed at...more

The Overpayment Rule and the Implied False Claims Theory: “What You Don’t Know Can Still Hurt You”

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) enacted new rules governing overpayments made by the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under these rules, providers have 60 days from the date that the overpayment has been identified to...more

Department of Justice Imposes Almost 100% Increase in Minimum and Maximum Monetary Penalties Under FCA

On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced an interim final rule almost doubling per-claim penalties under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The FCA still imposes treble damages for government losses in...more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal For CVS Caremark Under Public Disclosure Bar

The FCA’s public disclosure bar precludes liability when a relator’s allegations have been publicly disclosed in a list of statutorily enumerated sources. Last week, the First Circuit added to the growing jurisprudence both...more

Senate Finance Committee Examines Repeal of the Stark Law

A new report suggests that the Stark law is obsolete in new payment models. On June 30, the US Senate Committee on Finance (the Committee) released the report Why Stark, Why Now? Suggestions to Improve the Stark Law to...more

Health Care Providers Put On Notice As False Claims Act Penalties Are Doubled

Effective August 1, 2016, Health care providers will be subject to significantly increased penalties for improperly receiving reimbursements from or avoiding payment to the Federal government. The U.S. Department of Justice...more

OIG Delivers Home Care a One – Two Punch: Release of Report and Alert on Home Health Fraud Highlights Increased OIG Scrutiny of...

On June 22, 2016, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued two communications that underscore its continued focus on fraud in home health care, along with the role of physicians as “gate keepers” in authorizing...more

When Inside Knowledge Is a Handicap to a Whistleblower

Here’s a riddle: The whistleblower is a former employee of the defendant, with inside knowledge of the operations at the heart of his qui tam suit. How can that inside knowledge be a handicap in pressing his claim? A June...more

Compliance Reminder — DOJ Announces Largest Healthcare Fraud Takedown

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the DOJ announced the largest nationwide heath care fraud takedown in history, which resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals for alleged participation in health care fraud...more

Supreme Court ruling potentially expands false claims liability for healthcare providers

In a much-anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that the implied false certification theory may form the basis for liability under the False Claims Act (FCA), resolving a split of among the federal...more

Supreme Court Rejects Government's FCA Implied Certification Theory

The Supreme Court of the United States in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. Escobar et al., weighed in on and embraced the implied certification theory of liability within the False Claims Act (FCA)....more

"In Escobar, Supreme Court Upholds False Claims Act’s Implied Certification Theory"

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar unanimously upheld the implied certification theory of False Claims Act (FCA) liability. The Court ruled that a party can...more

The Supreme Court Adopts Broad Scope of False Claims Act Liability

A unanimous Supreme Court issued its long-awaited and closely watched decision today on the scope of the False Claims Act (“FCA”), and the Court affirmed the FCA’s long reach. Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States...more

US Supreme Court Opines on Implied Certification Theory in Escobar

The Court’s rejection of the condition of payment analysis and adoption of a rigorous materiality standard represents a significant shift in how courts must analyze FCA cases premised on underlying regulatory or contractual...more

False Claims Act: Supreme Court Decides Implied Certification Case

Why it matters: On June 16, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, holding that the implied false certification theory can be a basis for False Claims Act liability if a claim for...more

CMS Finally Publishes the Final Rule on Returning Medicare Overpayments

On February 12, 2016, six years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), CMS published the final rule with respect to returning self-identified overpayments. The ACA established a requirement that any person...more

False Claims Charges vs. Eye Clinic Sufficiently Specific

Michael Sorenson is an optometrist formerly employed by Outreach Diagnostic Clinic. After he quit, he filed a False Claims action against the eye clinic and the two doctors who owned it. He alleged that the clinic routinely...more

Differences in Medical Opinions: Not Enough to Prove FCA Liability

In a $200 million False Claims Act (FCA) litigation with certain twists and turns, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama recently found that the federal government failed to show that claims submitted...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 9 - May 2016

NATIONAL - Medicare Proposes New Part B Payment System - The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 27 proposed a new rule that would transform Medicare Part B reimbursement to practitioners into...more

Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy topics, including the following: - ..A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of...more

Trove of SNF Claims Data Released By CMS – Ready for Mining By Auditors and Whistleblowers

Over recent years, the Federal government has trained its sights on potential billing abuses in the Medicare Part A program for Skilled Nursing Facilities (“SNFs”) in the provision of rehabilitation therapy services. The...more

OIG Issues New Exclusion and CIA Guidance

On April 18, 2016, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson announced the publication of updated guidance on how the Office of Inspector General (OIG) makes decisions about using its permissive exclusion authority and requiring...more

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