Earlier this month, the White House released the National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan outlining specific “high impact initiatives” that the federal government will carry out to achieve its cybersecurity objectives. Continue Reading Expect More Cyber-Enforcement under the False Claims Act
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published updated data regarding settlements made under the Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), an important mechanism through which providers may disclose actual or potential violations of the federal physician self-referral prohibition commonly known as the Stark Law. Continue Reading CMS Publishes New Data on Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol Settlements
The government continues to prioritize fraud involving government contractors, as the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) most recent annual report on civil fraud recovery shows. Continue Reading Recent FCA Settlements in Government Contracts Cases
On February 7, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual report of civil fraud recoveries for the prior fiscal year, along with its accompanying press release highlighting its civil enforcement efforts. Our top ten observations from DOJ’s release include:Continue Reading DOJ Releases Annual Civil Fraud Recovery Statistics and Results
On August 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held, as a matter of first impression, that damages in False Claims Act cases are subject to pro tanto (dollar-for-dollar) settlement offsets in cases involving multiple jointly and severally liable defendants.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Holds that False Claims Act Damages Must Be Reduced Dollar-for-Dollar by Other Defendants’ Settlements
Each year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recovers millions of dollars through False Claims Act (FCA) settlements, and 2021 was no exception. Some of the most sizeable or otherwise noteworthy settlements from 2021 were with hospitals and health systems. We’ve summarized a few below.
Continue Reading 2021 Recap: Hospitals’ Significant False Claims Act Settlements
I recently discussed the trends related to False Claims Act (FCA) settlements in the home health sector, as revealed in the Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Settlements Database which we launched earlier this year. The database was part of the comprehensive Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Resource Center that provides an overview of FCA enforcement settlements, court decisions, updates involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and other developments affecting the healthcare industry.
“We wanted to create a database of False Claims Act settlements to allow providers to have easy access to information, to see the cases that the government or regulators have resolved in the health care fraud space,” I told Home Health Care News. “This is the first publicly available database of this type.”
According to the information in the database, home health providers have paid at least $422.6 million since 2012 to settle FCA allegations. This represents 51 different cases over the time period from 2012-2020.Continue Reading False Claims Act Cases in Home Health Sector
We are excited to announce the launch of our new Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Resource Center, which will provide a central location for healthcare leaders to access tools and information, including:
- An innovative, searchable database featuring more than 1,300 significant False Claims Act (FCA) settlements from the last decade.
- The most recent edition of
In the last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought more than 100 criminal cases relating to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud. These criminal prosecutions started at a blistering pace, with the first indictments coming within the very first months of the program’s inception. This wave of criminal prosecutions and convictions related to some of the more flagrant abuses – individuals who fraudulently obtained funds from the program and then went on spending sprees for things like Lamborghinis, mansions, and private jet travel.
These prosecutions focused on individuals and organized groups who obtained or used PPP funds fraudulently, often including charges for false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001), aggravated identify theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1)), false statements in a loan application (18 U.S.C. § 1014), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), bank fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344), and Title 26 tax charges. Along with these prosecutions came significant resources, including new fraud coordinators and data analytics teams across the country.
Now, we are starting to see the first civil enforcement actions relating to the program. This signals a new phase of enforcement for the DOJ and all organizations who benefited from the program must pay close attention.Continue Reading PPP Investigations, Settlements and Litigation on the Horizon
Improper billing for electro-acupuncture using a “P-Stim” device (or peri-auricular stimulation device) has been the subject of two False Claims Act (FCA) settlements already in 2021, following a trend of such enforcement actions within the past year.
Each of the recent settlements, detailed further below, involve providers billing federal healthcare programs for acupuncture using P-Stim devices under HCPCS Code L8649. Unlike P-Stim devices, though, which are attached to the ears of a patient using needles and adhesives without surgery or anesthesia, HCPCS Code L8649 applies to a product that is surgically implanted into a patient using anesthesia. Medicare, TRICARE and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) do not reimburse for acupuncture devices like P-Stim, nor do they reimburse for P-Stim as a neurostimulator or an implantation of neurostimulator electrodes. In addition to P-Stim, the brand names for these devices include ANSiStim, E-pulse, Stivax and NeuroStim.
Notably, none of these enforcement actions originated from qui tam whistleblowers but rather were the product of affirmative government investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and CMS’s Center for Program Integrity. These settlements—coming from different jurisdictions and concerning different types of providers and practices—demonstrate the government’s ongoing, nationwide effort to investigate the improper billing of electro-acupuncture devices:Continue Reading Improper Billing of “P-Stim” Devices is Focus of Recent FCA Settlements