Category: Healthcare

DOJ Demonstrates Continued Focus on Opioid Crisis with $600 Million Criminal and Civil Settlement Against Indivior Solutions, Indivior Inc., and Indivior plc

Vanessa J. Szalapski

The Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) most recent settlement with Indivior Solutions, Inc., Indivior Inc., and Indivior plc (together, “Indivior”) demonstrates not only that the DOJ is continuing its pursuit of claims and settlements related to the opioid crisis, but also that the DOJ is searching for creative penalties beyond large monetary payouts. In a July 24, 2020 press release, the DOJ announced a $600 million...

Court Enters Judgment Totaling More Than $32 Million on Mississippi Jury’s $10.8 Million Verdict, Demonstrating Risks for Defendants Found Guilty of False Claims Act Violations at Trial

Siena Caruso

Shortly before COVID-19 halted jury proceedings across the United States, a Mississippi jury sided with the Government to return a $10.8 million verdict against Stone County Hospital and several affiliates for what the jury found were false Medicare claims submitted in violation of the False Claims Act (“FCA”). United States ex rel. Aldridge v. Corporate Management, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:16cv369-HTW-LRA (S.D. Miss.). In...

False Claims Act Exposure for Beneficiaries of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Relief Fund: Mitigating Risks of Ambiguous Terms & Conditions

Andrew Brantingham

I. Introduction The CARES Act allocated $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers, to be distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Relief Fund (or “Provider Relief Fund”). Many healthcare providers across the country have received payments from the Fund, beginning with an initial tranche of $30 billion distributed in...

$145 Million Settlement Shows the Depth of Government’s Effort to Combat Opioid Crisis and its Interest in Fraud Actions Against Electronic Health Records Companies

Vanessa J. Szalapski

Less than a year after United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan warned electronic health records (“EHR”) companies in a DOJ press release that they “should consider themselves on notice” following a $57.25 million FCA settlement with EHR software developer Greenway Health LLC, the DOJ announced in a recent press release a $145 million settlement with another EHR vendor, Practice Fusion, Inc.  The settlement includes $26...

Triggering the Public Disclosure Bar: It’s in the Details

Lindsey Schmidt

On February 5, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected a defendant’s public disclosure bar defense, allowing the relators to proceed with their qui tam action under the False Claims Act. Sturgeon, et al., v. PharMerica Corp, No. 15-cv-6829, 2020 WL 586978, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 5, 2020).  In denying defendant PharAmerica’s motion to dismiss, the Court explained why the...

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...

Another Qui Tam Suit Alleging a Scheme to Defraud by Reporting Inflated Drug Prices Survives Motion to Dismiss

Nathan Ebnet

Within the last five years, district courts in the Seventh Circuit have repeatedly denied motions to dismiss qui tam lawsuits brought under the FCA that allege a scheme to defraud government health programs by reporting inflated “usual and customary” prices for prescription drugs. By contrast, at least one district court in the Sixth Circuit recently granted such a motion under Rule 9(b). On March 7,...

DOJ Levels False Claims Act at Pharmacies to Combat Opioid Crisis

Lauren Roso

This month the Department of Justice brought a “first of its kind” action against two pharmacies, their owner, and three pharmacists for allegedly dispensing and billing Medicare for prescriptions in violation of both the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the False Claims Act (FCA).  See United States v. Oakley Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 2:19-cv-00009 (M.D. Tenn).  The action, seeking both injunctive relief and civil...

For FY2018, Justice Department Touts Nearly $3 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries, Mostly From Qui Tams and Alleged Healthcare Frauds

David Green

The Justice Department announced in a recent press release that it obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. The vast majority of this amount—$2.1 billion—came from lawsuits filed by whistleblowers, or “relators” suing on behalf of the government, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claim Act (“FCA”). Included in the qui...

Sixth Circuit: Timing of Physician Certification for In-Home Care Remains Material After Escobar

Ben Kappelman

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit again revived an FCA suit against home-health services providers premised on the providers’ alleged improper procurement of physician medical necessity certifications supporting Medicare claims. In United States v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2018 WL 2770598 (6th Cir. June 11, 2018), a nurse alleged she was hired by several...