Perhaps the single most appropriate word to describe the current state of the civil and criminal healthcare fraud enforcement environment is uncertainty.  From changes in personnel and policy at the highest levels of government to a myriad of state and federal legislative developments, healthcare providers face an unsettled landscape as they move into the coming year.

Healthcare Fraud Recoveries Again Exceed $2B

To be sure, statistics would suggest that it was business as usual for the government’s healthcare fraud enforcement efforts.  While civil fraud recoveries by the Department of Justice (DOJ) dipped to more than $2.8 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 (FY 2018) as compared to $3.7 billion in FY 2017, recoveries attributable to the healthcare industry were $2.5 billion in FY 2018 – up from $2.1 billion in FY 2017.  This is the ninth consecutive year where recoveries associated with the healthcare industry exceeded $2 billion.

Continue Reading Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Year End Review: A Look Back…A Look Ahead

A recent piece of federal legislation intended to address the opioid crisis across the United States may have some unintended consequences. In attempting to prohibit “patient brokering” in the narrow context of addiction treatment and recovery centers, Congress may have unwittingly passed an unprecedented expansion of federal prosecutorial authority over payment arrangements between providers and referral sources for private-pay patients. For the reasons discussed in this blog post, any individual or entity who provides services relating to addiction treatment or recovery (as well as all clinical laboratories, regardless of whether they provide any addiction treatment or recovery services) should examine their arrangements with all referral sources for private-pay patients, even those who do not refer patients for addiction treatment or recovery services.

On October 24, 2018, the President signed into law the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (the “SUPPORT Act”), as discussed here. The SUPPORT Act consolidated a number of opioid-related bills, including the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA), which was intended to address the problem of “patient brokering” in the context of treatment centers and sober homes.

Continue Reading The Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act: An Unprecedented Expansion of Anti-kickback Liability to Private-Pay Referrals?

Bass, Berry & Sims is pleased to announce the release of its sixth annual Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review 2017. The Review, compiled by the firm’s Healthcare Fraud Task Force, is an in-depth and comprehensive review of enforcement settlements, court decisions and developments affecting the healthcare industry.

The Review details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to reviewing all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the Review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute and looks at the continued implications from the government’s focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.

Continue Reading Bass, Berry & Sims Releases Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review 2017

Over the past five years, recoveries from False Claims Act cases have surpassed $22 billion, with more than half coming from the healthcare industry alone. Our attorneys help companies from all sectors of healthcare navigate enforcement and compliance issues related to Healthcare Fraud and Abuse. Watch this video to find out why healthcare executives nationwide turn to Bass, Berry & Sims when faced with fraud and abuse issues.

Learn more about Bass, Berry & Sims’ Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Practice at www.bassberry.com/healthcare-fraud.

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Bass, Berry & Sims is pleased to announce the release of its fifth annual Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review 2016. The Review, compiled by the firm’s Healthcare Fraud Task Force, is an industry-leading guide to healthcare fraud developments and provides an outlook as to what lies ahead in 2017.

The Review details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. It also provides a comprehensive review of developments in FCA-related litigation, covers enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and looks at the unfolding implications of the DOJ’s Yates Memo and its emphasis on individual accountability.

Topics covered in the Review include:

  • Noteworthy Settlements
  • Issues to Watch
  • False Claims Act Update
  • Stark Law/Anti-Kickback Statute
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Developments

Click here to view the Review.

Healthcare_Fraud_2015Bass, Berry & Sims is pleased to provide its annual Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review, which highlights significant enforcement trends and legal developments, discusses recent cases and settlements affecting the healthcare industry, and provides an outlook on what lies ahead in 2016.

During the previous year, Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys have represented virtually every type of provider in the healthcare industry in civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations and related litigation. We have incorporated this experience into our Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review for the benefit of our clients and friends and hope that the Review will be a valuable resource for healthcare providers facing complex compliance and fraud and abuse-related issues.

The Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review offers a concise discussion and analysis of such topics as:

  • Noteworthy Healthcare Settlements
  • Issues to Watch
  • False Claims Act Update (“FCA”)
  • Stark Law/Anti-Kickback Statute Developments
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Developments

Click here to view the Review.

Matt Curley was interviewed by Becker’s Hospital Review in connection with an article dated February 10, 2016, about how healthcare providers can take practical steps to reduce the risk of employees and third parties pursuing whistleblower lawsuits when they encounter potential compliance issues. The comments below expand upon that interview.

Healthcare providers receiving reimbursement from government payers know there is a significant risk of encountering whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. Last year, there were more than 600 new whistleblower lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act. And, during the previous five years, there have been nearly 3400 new False Claims Act lawsuits filed by whistleblowers.

Whistleblowers received nearly $600 million in FY 2015 year as their share of the proceeds of False Claims Act judgments and settlements. That amount brought total recoveries during the previous five years to nearly $2.5 billion.

With the often times protracted, expensive, and disruptive government investigations that can follow the filing of a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claim Act, practical measures that can reduce the possibility of whistleblower activity are certainly worth consideration.

Continue Reading Practical Tips to Prevent Whistleblowers