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Catch of the Week: CMS Suspends UnitedHealth and Anthem Medical Advantage Plans for Charging Too Much in Premiums

Posted  09/24/21
Medicare Card
CMS suspended three UnitedHealth Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and one Anthem MA plan this week for failing to meet federal Medical Loss Ratio requirements. The four plans – United of the Midwest, United of New Mexico, United of Arkansas, and Anthem’s MMM Healthcare – are prohibited from enrolling new members until 2023. MMM Healthcare is the largest MA plan in Puerto Rico, with more than 260,000...

Catch of the Week: Bayada Home Health Care Settles Kickback Allegations for $17 Million in Case Demonstrating that Kickbacks Come in Many Forms

Posted  09/17/21
business person stamping a paper
Last week, Bayada Home Health Care, Inc., a national home health company with more than $1.5 billion in reported revenues and offices in twenty-two states, agreed to pay the United States $17 million to settle allegations that it violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS).  The AKS prohibits paying illegal remuneration in any form to induce business or referrals paid for with federal health care dollars, and...

U.S. Pursuit of Risk Adjustment Fraud Continues with Complaint in Intervention in Case Filed by Constantine Cannon Client against Independent Health and its Coding Subsidiary DxID

Posted  09/16/21
Western District of New York Birds-Eye View of Building
In July, we wrote that managed care enforcement had reached a “tipping point,” as the Department of Justice intervened in whistleblower cases against Kaiser Permanente alleging risk adjustment fraud, including a case brought by Constantine Cannon client Dr. James Taylor.  Just last month, we announced a $90 million settlement in a different Medicare Advantage risk adjustment fraud case brought by Constantine...

Constantine Cannon Attorneys Present on Whistleblower Cases Involving MA Risk Adjustment Fraud at RISE West Conference

Posted  09/10/21
stethoscope on top of hundred dollars bills scattered around
Building on Constantine Cannon’s reputation as the preeminent law firm representing whistleblowers in FCA cases involving Medicare Advantage (MA) risk adjustment fraud, three Constantine Cannon attorneys, Mary Inman, Ed Baker, and Max Voldman, recently presented on case developments in this fast-developing area of the law at RISE West, a national conference for healthcare professionals working in the managed care...

DOJ Reasserts the Proper Role for Agency Guidance in Fraud Cases

Posted  09/3/21
Department of Justice Logo
The Justice Department has quietly rescinded a Trump administration policy that was needlessly undermining the role of government agency guidance.  On July 1, 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum revoking what is known as the Brand Memo.  In her memo, Former Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand had set out a position that defense attorneys scrambled to use to argue for leniency or...

Catch of the Week: Florida Lab Owner Pleads Guilty to $73 Million Telemedicine Fraud Scheme

Posted  09/3/21
telemedicine doctor on computer with patient
Editor’s Note: For this week’s biggest story, the record $90 million settlement secured by a Constantine Cannon client against Sutter Health, read more here.
Healthcare fraudsters have a track record of exploiting health crises for personal gain. The COVID-19 pandemic created new telemedicine opportunities for patients to receive care without having to see doctors in person. As expected, fraudsters seized on...

Managed Care Risk Adjustment Enforcement Continues with Sutter Health Settlement: Constantine Cannon Client Secures Largest Ever Medicare Advantage Settlement by a Hospital

Posted  08/30/21
Sutter Health will pay the Government $90 million under the False Claims Act for allegedly submitting inaccurate and unsupported medical information on tens of thousands of patients.  The settlement in a case brought by a whistleblower represented by Constantine Cannon, together with co-counsel Keller Grover and Kleiman Rajaram, is the largest Medicare Advantage FCA settlement against a hospital system, and the...

Medically Unnecessary Procedures Harm Patients, Raise U.S. Healthcare Costs, Atlantic Feature Emphasizes

Posted  08/20/21
surgeons operating on patient under bright lights
Unnecessary procedures have long plagued the U.S. healthcare system, costing taxpayers billions and subjecting thousands of patients to invasive procedures that sometimes do more harm than good. For decades, various government actors have acknowledged the problem.

Why then is it so difficult to prevent unnecessary procedures in the U.S.?

Reporter Chris Outcalt recently pondered in a piece for The Atlantic. The...

Catch of the Week: Telemedicine Company Owner Charged in $784 Million Kickback Scheme

Posted  08/20/21
Doctor on computer with patient discussing medicine
Underscoring the fraud risks associated with the government’s continued expansion and loosening of restrictions on telehealth, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that a grand jury in New Jersey has returned a superseding indictment against the Florida owner of multiple telemedicine companies, referred to by DOJ prosecutors as the Video Doctor Network, for allegedly participating in a massive Medicare...

Court says that fraudsters who violate rules they later claim are unclear may not violate the False Claims Act

Posted  08/19/21
Red and yellow pills scattered on hundred dollar bills
Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court for Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin decided U.S. ex rel. Yarberry v. Supervalu, an important decision that may lead more unscrupulous government contractors to help themselves to public funds to which they are not entitled.  Unless the Supreme Court or Congress steps in to correct the Seventh Circuit’s errors, the government may have...
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