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Medicaid Drug Rebate Fraud: Should it be an Enforcement Priority?

Posted  03/10/20
pill container spilled over with pills in the form of a dollar sign
Medicaid has one very intuitive approach to keeping drug prices in check. Drug companies, under a law called the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, must rebate Medicaid programs any money that resulted from the increased drug prices outpacing inflation. Inflation is benchmarked to either 1990, or the first year a drug came to market, which ever is later. As an example of how this works, imagine a pharmaceutical company...

“Objective Falsity” Is Not Required Under the False Claims Act: A Legally False Opinion May Suffice

Posted  03/6/20
Gavel close-up
In a significant win for whistleblowers, a federal appellate court held this week that, in order to determine liability under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower need not prove that a claim is “objectively” false.  Instead, the Court held that, consistent with common law, a claim can be false under the FCA if based not on objectively verifiable facts, but on non-compliance with statutory or regulatory...

Treble Damages Awarded in Medicare Whistleblower Case

Posted  02/21/20
specimen jar
The Fifth Circuit upheld a 2018 lower court decision this week, finding defendant BestCare Laboratory Services, LLC and its owner Karim Maghareh liable for treble damages—to the tune of just over $30 million—under the False Claims Act. BestCare provided clinical testing services for nursing home residents, many of whom were Medicare beneficiaries. Rather than billing for a technician’s travel to and from the...

Catch of the Week: Colorado Neurosurgeon and His Three Companies Settle Spinal Implant Kickback Claims for $2.35M

Posted  02/14/20
skeleton of a spine
This edition of our Catch of the Week series features the successful resolution of a whistleblower suit against neurosurgeon Dr. William Choi and three companies he owned.  The defendants agreed to pay the United States $2.35 million to resolve allegations that, for over five years, Dr. Choi received illegal kickbacks from spinal implant device distributors for devices he used in surgeries. The kickbacks rendered...

Opioid Executive Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison for Role in Healthcare Fraud Scheme

Posted  01/31/20
opioid pills scattered around
Insys Therapeutics, an opioid manufacturer whose main product is Subsys, a spray from of fentanyl that is 100 times stronger than morphine and cost tens of thousands a month, is in the news again. The company and its former CEO, John Kapoor, have been facing a mountain of legal issues in the past three years. Last week, in a decision that most of our readers agree with, Kapoor was sentenced to 66 months in prison. 

Top Ten State Healthcare and Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/30/20
mount-rushmore-and-state-flags
Here at Constantine Cannon, our attorneys represent whistleblowers reporting a wide variety of healthcare fraud and financial fraud, including government contract fraud, unlawful kickbacks, tax evasion, and more. While such wrongful conduct often violates federal laws, state governments are also important enforcement authorities. For whistleblowers, state enforcement can offer additional opportunities.  New York,...

Top Ten Healthcare Fraud Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/24/20
Consistent with the trend in prior years, the bulk of the Justice Department’s fraud and false claims recoveries in 2019 stemmed from healthcare fraud matters.  And again, most of the funds recovered arose from cases originated by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  Not surprisingly, seven of the top ten spots in our list involved false claims act lawsuits against drug companies...

Government Audit of Chronic Care Management Services Raises Serious Questions About Proposed Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbors

Posted  11/22/19
stethoscope on top of money and coins
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is engaged in what it calls a “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care,” in order to, in the words of HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, “update, reform, and cut back our regulations to allow innovation toward a more affordable, higher quality, value-based healthcare system.”  On October 9, 2019, as part of this effort to “cut back” on regulations to advance...

Catch of the Week: Ophthalmology group, former CEO, and individual physicians settle fraud claims for $6.65M

Posted  10/11/19
Our latest Catch of the Week highlights the successful resolution of a whistleblower lawsuit against a Southern California eye doctor group and several individuals allegedly embroiled in a decade-long scheme to bill publicly funded healthcare programs for unnecessary eye exams.  Ophthalmology provider group Retina Institute of California Medical Group (RIC), its former CEO, several of its doctors, and other involved...

Catch of the Week: Texas Hospital Exec Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Medicare Fraud

Posted  09/18/19
On Monday, a federal judge in Houston sentenced Starsky Bomer, the former CFO and COO of Atrium Medical Center and Pristine Healthcare, to ten years in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that bilked the government of $16m.  Bomer was convicted by a jury in October of last year.  His co-conspirator, Dr. Sohail R. Siddiqui, took a plea deal in 2017 and is serving five years in prison. Bomer will do time...
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