News & Analysis as of

Hospice Provider Pays $4 Million to Settle Allegations of Fraudulent Billing

Good Shepherd Hospice, Inc., a for-profit hospice providing services in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (“Good Shepherd”), has agreed to pay $4 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that it submitted...more

Device Manufacturer Settles False Claims Act Allegations with DOJ for $1.25 Million

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that ev3 Inc. (which acquired Fox Hollow Technologies, Inc. (“Fox Hollow”), a medical device manufacturer, in late 2007) agreed to pay $1.25 million to resolve allegations...more

No False Claim Despite Violation of Licensing Law and Medicare Conditions of Participation

Last week a federal court in Florida granted a radiology practice’s motion for judgment in its favor in a False Claims Act case, despite these formidable obstacles: (1) the practice had billed Medicare for services performed...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - January 2015 #3

ALSO IN THE NEWS - HHS Publishes Goals on Alternative Payment Models with Continued Focus on Quality – In its continued efforts to base Medicare payments on quality over quantity, this morning HHS made public its goal...more

Catching Up on the False Claims Act

From a corporate risk perspective, if your company is in the financial industry, healthcare, or defense industry, your greatest legal and compliance risk has to be the False Claims Act....more

First Circuit Reaffirms FCA’s “First-to-File” Bar as a Broad Jurisdictional Limit

In early December 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reaffirmed that circuit’s broad interpretation of the False Claims Act’s “first-to-file” bar, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5), in United States ex rel....more

Pharmacy Qui Tam Based On U&C Price Billing Survives Motion to Dismiss

Once again, a pharmacy employee has filed a qui tam involving a drug discount program, alleging that the failure of the pharmacy to use the discounted pricing as the “usual and customary” price in Medicaid and Medicare Part D...more

HHS to Audit Hospital Reporting of GPO Payments: GAO Report Suggests Further Scrutiny of GPO Shareback with Hospitals

On November 24, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a report examining the contracting practices and funding structures of health care group purchasing organizations (“GPOs”) and their potential...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

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

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

SRDP No Longer New Wine

More than four years after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) issuance of the Stark Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), it's time to assess the results. The SRDP was designed by Congress to resolve...more

Blurring the Lines between False Claims Act Litigation and Putative Federal Malpractice Law: The DOJ Quietly Invokes “Worthless...

On October 10, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a civil settlement agreement (the “Settlement”) with Extendicare Heath Services, Inc. and its subsidiary Progress Step Corporation (collectively,...more

Provider of Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapy Services Agrees to $38,000,000 False Claims Act Settlement

As announced in an recent press release, Extended Care Health Services, Inc. (“Extendicare”), an operator of skilled nursing facilities, and its subsidiary Progressive Step Corporation (“Pro Step”), a provider of physical,...more

Seventh Circuit Reaffirms Worthlessness of Worthless Services Cases

In August the Seventh Circuit expressed its view that so-called “worthless services” cases don’t state a claim under the False Claims Act. Last Friday the court reaffirmed its view by refusing to rehear the case en banc....more

Whistleblower Goes It Alone to Secure $5 Million Settlement under False Claims Act

The potential success of a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA) is significantly reduced when the government fails to intervene because such cases are often assumed to lack merit. However, a plaintiff...more

Department of Justice Files First False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Physician-Owned Distributorship

On Sept. 8, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a 98-page civil complaint alleging that investment returns, paid to a Michigan spinal surgeon and other physicians by a spinal implant company partially...more

Whistleblower Defendant Blows Whistle on Whistleblower

Antonio Saidiani filed a whistleblower suit alleging that NextCare urgent centers and CEO Dr. Shufeldt had collected tens of millions of dollars in false Medicare claims. Antonio was in a position to know because he was that...more

OIG Warns Pharma Its Copayment Coupons May Aid Crime

Brand name drugs cost a lot. So to make them more attractive, drug manufacturers issue coupons for discounts on the copayment portion of the price. They work the same as the dollar-off coupons offered by cereal manufacturers....more

OIG Issues Special Advisory Bulletin Covering Manufacturer Copay Coupons and Medicare Part D

For years, many drug manufacturers have issued coupons to help cover some or all of the cost of copayments (commonly referred to as a “copay”) for prescription medications. While the Department of Health and Human Services...more

7th Circuit Defines "Worthless Services" Under the False Claims Act

That’s the upshot from U.S. ex rel. Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center, Nos. 13-1886 & 13-1936 (Aug. 20, 2014), a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit (authored by Judge Manion) that addressed the worthless-services...more

The Seventh Circuit Significantly Heightens the Bar for Proof in False Claims Act "Worthless Services" Cases

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently dealt a stinging blow to the False Claims Act (FCA) plaintiff's bar in United States ex. rel. Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center, Inc. et al., Case...more

Seventh Circuit Limits “Worthless Services” Theory under False Claims Act

On August 20, 2014, the Seventh Circuit struck another blow against relators’ and the federal government’s increasingly aggressive False Claims Act theories of liability. Rejecting the relators’ use of the “worthless...more

Prescription Drugs: Refocusing the False Claims Act Microscope on the Rest of the Transaction

Over the last decade, it has often felt as though the pharmaceutical industry has been the government’s and whistleblowers’ main, and at times only, target for False Claims Act (“FCA”) investigations. While manufacturers are...more

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