FCA NOW

Dorsey Alert: HHS Regulatory Sprint May Impact FCA Enforcement Trends

Alex Hontos

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is an ever-present concern among health care providers and counsel, which is why it is no surprise that the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care” may impact FCA enforcement trends.  Dorsey’s Health Law Blog team has been closely monitoring the “Regulatory Sprint,” including the sweeping set of proposed regulations issued by the HHS...

Second Circuit Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard for Qui Tam FCA Suits

Jack Huerter

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently emphasized the heightened pleading standard that a relator in a qui tam False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit must satisfy to avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). United States ex rel. Gelbman v. City of New York, Case No. 18-3162, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30889 (2d Cir. Oct. 17, 2019). In Gelbman, the relator, a former information specialist for the...

The Granston Memo in Tension: Third Circuit Allows DOJ’s Dismissal of FCA Claim without a Hearing; Sen. Grassley Wants DOJ to Pump the Brakes

Sam Bolstad

The Department of Justice can move to dismiss a whistleblower’s claim under the False Claims Act without first holding an in-person hearing, the Third Circuit recently ruled in Chang v. Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware, No. 18-2311 (3d Cir. Sept. 12, 2019). The FCA requires that a qui tam relator have “an opportunity for a hearing” if the DOJ moves to dismiss. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A)....

D.C. Circuit Weighs in on the FCA’s Anti-Retaliation Statute

Benjamin Greenberg

Last month, the D.C. Circuit revived a False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliatory discrimination claim by a former employee of Howard University contending that she was fired by the University for objecting both internally and externally to the University’s alleged failure to maintain the humane laboratory animal living conditions on which the University’s receipt of federal funding was conditioned. See Singletary v. Howard University, No. 18-7158 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 20,...

Relator Failed to Sufficiently Plead its FCA Action by Relying on Big Data Alone, Resulting In Big Dismissal

Andrew Brantingham

In early August, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas granted a hospital system’s motion to dismiss a False Claims Act case that illustrates the increasing intersections in FCA litigation between data analytics and health care providers’ efforts to increase revenue through aggressive management of coding and billing practices. United States ex rel. Integra Med Analytics, LLC v. Scott et al., No....

Granston Memo in Action: Eighth Circuit Affirms Government Dismissal of FCA Claims Related to Minnesota Bridge Collapse

Caitlin Hull

Just days after the twelfth anniversary of the Minnesota 35W bridge collapse, the Eighth Circuit summarily affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act case alleging that Minnesota government officials conspired to submit false claims and obtain $250 million in federal funding. United States ex rel. Davis v. Hennepin Cty., No: 19-2298 (8th Cir. Aug. 14, 2019). Focused on the aftermath of the 35W bridge...

False Claims Act: New Developments for an Old Law

Alex Hontos

The past 18 months have been a (relatively) wild time for the False Claims Act — on the books since 1863. In FY2018 the Department of Justice obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from cases involving fraud and false claims against the United States government. Add to this staggering statistic the fallout of the Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services Inc....

Software Provider and DOJ Reach $8.6M Settlement for FCA Case Involving Alleged Cyber Security Shortcomings

Jack Huerter

Amid increased public and government attention to cyber security, a qui tam plaintiff’s lawsuit has resulted a large settlement for a government contractors’ purported misrepresentations regarding compliance with government cyber security standards. In what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind settlement of an FCA claim premised upon cyber security misrepresentations, Cisco Systems recently agreed to pay $8.6 million to the federal and state governments. The...

An Ambulance Provider’s Long Road to Settlement

Vanessa J. Szalapski

On June 20, 2019, more than six years after the case was first set into motion by the Relator, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced in a press release that Hart to Heart Ambulance Services, Inc. (“Hart to Heart”) settled a false claims act case—which alleged that it submitted false claims to Medicare for ambulance transports that were not medically necessary—for...

Alleged Violations of Government Data Security Requirements Yield FCA Settlement

T. Augustine Lo

On May 31, 2019, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister of the District of Kansas announced a $250,000 settlement with Coffey Health System to resolve a False Claims Act case.  The case arose from allegations that the hospital’s patient data security was insufficient to justify an incentive payment from the federal government.  The two whistleblowers each will receive $50,000 from the settlement. In 2016, two whistleblowers filed...