Escobar, Back at the First Circuit

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Yesterday, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a new opinion in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar.  Applying the materiality test enunciated by the Supreme Court in June, the First Circuit reaffirmed its previous decision that the whistleblowers’ complaint sufficiently stated a claim under the... Continue Reading →

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Skilled Nursing Facility Chain Settles False Claims Act Case for $145 Million

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On October 24, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $145 million False Claims Act settlement with a national skilled nursing facility provider that operates more than 200 skilled nursing facilities (the “Company”) and its individual owner. The settlement has been touted as the largest in the DOJ’s history with a skilled nursing facility... Continue Reading →

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Seventh Circuit: Implied Certification Claims Remain a Heavy Lift

In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Universal Health Services v. Escobar, the Seventh Circuit revisited its prior ruling in United States ex rel. Nelson v. Sanford-Brown, Ltd, a case alleging that a college receiving federal subsidies violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) by maintaining discriminatory recruiting and... Continue Reading →

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Court Strikes Allegations Whistleblower Learned Through Discovery and Dismisses Claims

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In United States of America and the State of Florida, ex rel. Bingham v. HCA, Inc., the employee of a medical office building management firm filed suit against a national health care system in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit included allegations relating to... Continue Reading →

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The Eighth Circuit Applies Escobar Materiality Test

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The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday applied the materiality standard enunciated by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar to a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case alleging fraudulent inducement. In United States ex rel. Miller v. Weston Educational Inc., d/b/a Heritage College, two whistleblowers alleged Heritage College... Continue Reading →

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Seventh Circuit Says “Medical Necessity” FCA Claims Require Specifics

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Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision in  US ex rel. Presser v. Acacia Mental Health Clinic, LLC. [1] The FCA case was brought by a nurse practitioner whistleblower who alleged that services being provided were not medically necessary. The court affirmed dismissal under Rule 9(b)... Continue Reading →

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Government Challenges “Materiality” Standard of Escobar

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Ever since the Supreme Court’s June 16, 2016 decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case upholding the theory of implied certification, significant discussion has commenced regarding the Court’s “new” FCA materiality standard. How the appellate courts define materiality under... Continue Reading →

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9th Circuit Issues Blockbuster Medicare Advantage FCA Decision

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a blockbuster ruling in U.S. ex rel. Swoben v United Healthcare et al., ruling that United Healthcare, WellPoint, Aetna and other major health insurance providers must answer to a whistleblower’s complaint that they defrauded the Medicare Advantage program. The Medicare Advantage Program,... Continue Reading →

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Massive Penalty Spike Darkens the FCA Landscape

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In November 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 went into effect. One aspect of that act was the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The new law required that the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act and the False Claims Act (“FCA”) penalties be “corrected” to... Continue Reading →

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Supreme Court Accepts Implied Certification – With a Twist

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The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision today in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, and it will have an enormous effect on False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases throughout the nation. In Escobar, the FCA case was based upon the theory that counseling was provided by practitioners... Continue Reading →

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