Dorsey Health Law Blog

Applying Escobar’s Materiality Standard, Florida Federal Court Reverses $350 Million False Claims Act Verdict against a Nursing Home Operator

Alissa Smith

If the government does not take action and continues to pay for Medicare/Medicaid claims after it learns of non-compliance related to the claims, is the non-compliance material to the government’s decision to pay? This is a question being answered in the negative by courts across the country, who have concluded that the government (or a...

OIG Issues Favorable Advisory Opinion Addressing Gainsharing CMP Arrangement

Nicole Burgmeier

On January 5, 2018, the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) released a favorable Advisory Opinion 17-09 that addresses Section 1128A(b)(1) of the Social Security Act (the “Gainsharing CMP”) and Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act (the “Anti-Kickback Statute”) with respect to a cost-reduction...

VA Proposed Rule Would Expand Telemedicine and Override State Licensure Barriers

Grace Fleming

On October 2, the Veterans Administration (VA) proposed a new rule that would expand access to quality care and availability of mental health, specialty, and general clinical care for VA beneficiaries through the use of telemedicine. In their proposed rule, the VA explains the difficulty it has faced attracting a sufficient number of providers to...

CMS To Expand Use of TPE Audits Nationwide by End of 2017

Neal N. Peterson

Perhaps lost amid the healthcare news coverage of competing proposals regarding “Medicare for All” and the repeal of Obamacare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) last month announced the expansion of its Targeted Probe and Educate (“TPE”) claims review program to the entire country by the end of the year. CMS’s announcement can...

OIG issues Advisory Opinion on a Retail Pharmacy’s Paid Membership Program Which Includes Federal Health Care Program Beneficiaries

Nicole Burgmeier

On September 7, 2017, the OIG posted an advisory opinion regarding a retail pharmacy chain’s proposal to extend to federal health care program beneficiaries the option to participate in a paid membership program that includes discounts on certain prescriptions and clinical services offered by the retail chains’ pharmacies and in-store clinics.  Presently, the pharmacy chain’s...

State Scrutiny of Payments to Providers Growing in Response to Opioid Crisis

Grace Fleming

Several states have proposed and enacted new laws to address the opioid crisis, including laws that focus on reducing financial incentives that drug manufacturers can give to providers. Most recently, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proposed a new regulation that would cap how much NJ prescribers can earn from drug companies at $10,000 per year. ...

Consultant found guilty of illegal kickbacks by “referring” doctors’ patients to another medical provider in exchange for remuneration

Alex Hontos

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(1)(A) it is a felony for a physician to solicit or receive a kickback “in return for referring” a Medicaid or Medicare patient to another medical provider. But as a recent decision by the Eighth Circuit in United States v. Iqbal demonstrates, physicians are not the only ones capable of making illegal...

Creation of Health Care Fraud Unit in Chicago and Recent “Takedown” Shows Continued Emphasis on Health Care Fraud Enforcement

Laura B. Morgan

On July 18, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced that it was creating a new unit located in Chicago within the office’s Criminal Division dedicated to prosecuting criminal health care fraud (the Health Care Fraud Unit). The office explained that it expected the unit, which will include five...