Tag Archives: False Claims Act

What Have We Learned About False Claims Act Litigation in the Two Years Since Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar? Quite a Lot, Actually

Summer is almost here. For some, that means planning vacations to the beach, hitting the gym to shed that winter weight, or perhaps hitting the golf course—but for us at the Sheppard Mullin Healthcare Law Blog and the False Claims Act Defense Blog, summer signals the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Universal … Continue Reading

Healthcare Industry Beware: The Use of Statistical Sampling to Establish Damages and Liability Under the False Claims Act Remains a Viable Option for Plaintiffs

The False Claims Act contains numerous requirements that are designed to prevent meritless cases from proceeding to discovery and trial. Among these provisions is the rule that, to establish liability, the government or a relator must show that an actual claim was submitted to federal Medicare or state Medicaid for reimbursement. In some Circuits, such as … Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance Policy Limits Use of Guidance Documents in Federal Civil Actions

[1] On January 25, 2018, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand issued a memorandum on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (the “Brand Memo”) which effectively limits the use and enforcement power of guidance documents for the purposes of affirmative civil enforcement cases, a development that could have a significant impact on how certain … Continue Reading

Temporal Proximity Is Not Enough: Third Circuit Nixes FCA/Anti-Kickback Suit For Failure To Link Alleged Scheme to Claims

On January 19, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling granting summary judgment to a specialty pharmacy that was accused of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal False Claims Act (United States ex rel. Greenfield v. Medco Health Solutions, Inc. et al., No. 17-1152.). The … Continue Reading

The Department of Justice Delivers Some Good News to the Healthcare Industry: New False Claims Act Guidance Predicts More Challenges to Qui Tam Plaintiffs

The DOJ is empowered under the FCA to seek dismissal of unmeritorious qui tam suits brought in its name. The DOJ has historically used this power sparingly. We are happy to report, however, that more dismissals may be on the horizon. On January 10, 2018, Michael Granston, Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Fraud Section … Continue Reading

The 2017 Department of Justice False Claims Act Recovery Statistics:

In a year when the Department of Justice recovers $2.5 billion from the healthcare industry in False Claim Act judgements and settlements, can there really be a silver lining? Every December, the Department of Justice (DOJ) releases its annual False Claims Act (FCA) recovery statistics for the preceding fiscal year. The recovery statistics, as they have … Continue Reading

Alert: In a Surprise Decision Issued on October 5, 2017, Honorable John Walter, United States District Judge, Dismissed a Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment Fraud Suit Against UnitedHealthcare

On October 5, 2017, the Honorable Judge John Walter of the United States District Court, Central District of California, granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) case of United States of America ex rel. Swoben v. Scan Health Plan, et al. (CV 09-5013-JFW (JEMx)) (the “Swoben Case”) … Continue Reading

DOJ Issues New Guidance on the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs in Federal Fraud Investigations

On February 8th, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) quietly issued new guidance on how the agency evaluates corporate compliance programs during fraud investigations. The guidance, published on the agency’s website as the “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” lists 119 “sample questions” that the DOJ’s Fraud Section has frequently found relevant in determining whether to … Continue Reading

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 UnitedHealth Group (United) and its subsidiary, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement—the nation’s largest provider of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The suit … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Preserves But Significantly Changes “Implied Certification” Theory of False Claims Act Liability

On June 16, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its opinion (“Op.”) in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar (“Escobar”), a case testing the viability and scope of the implied certification theory of False Claims Act (“FCA”) liability.  Under the implied certification theory, a defendant may be liable under the FCA based on the … Continue Reading

Navigating the Provider Self-Disclosure Protocol

Providers can voluntarily disclose potential fraud with respect to Federal health care programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and potentially private insurers to the extent Federal or state funds are involved—by following the Provider Self-Disclosure Protocol (“Protocol”) issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”). (See 63 FR 58399 (Oct. 30, 1998).) … Continue Reading
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