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Question of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Question of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog addresses topics of interest to whistleblowers.  Return to:

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Question of the Week — Should providers who defraud Medicare be excluded from it?

Posted  06/18/19
Fortune Cookie with Message with Message Saying "Not Eligible for Medicare!"
Sometimes, though rarely, when a medical provider settles a False Claims Act case or is found to have violated the FCA at trial, they are excluded from participating in healthcare programs as a condition of resolving the case. Often, this is a limited-time ban that is meant to incentivize providers to follow Medicare’s rules in the future and to deter other providers from committing fraud. Between Medicare,...

Question of the Week — Is it time for a legislative fix to limit sky high air ambulance costs?

Posted  06/14/19
Emergency Personnel Rushing to Helicopter Ambulance
As rural hospitals continue to shutter, accessible emergency medical care is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans. When health emergencies arise, patients in rural communities often must rely on helicopter ambulances to get them quickly to care. But the Government Accountability Office reported the median cost for a helicopter ambulance ride was over $36,000 in 2017. The problem will likely continue...

Question of the Week — Should the Medicare Fraud Hotline or HHS OIG Reward Informants?

Posted  06/7/19
businessmen showing inside of briefcase
Opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics agreed to a $225 million settlement related to allegations that it unlawfully marketed its drug Subsys and paid kickbacks to providers through “speaker programs” that rewarded providers who prescribed Subsys. We previously asked whether our readers thought CEOs should be more liable for corporate wrongdoing after the Insys CEO was convicted for participating in a criminal...

Question of the Week — Should institutions return past donations from Big Pharma executives and their family members implicated in the opioid crisis?

Posted  05/23/19
Money with Pills Spilled Over
The New York Times recently reported that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has decided to stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, one of the drugs at the center of the opioid epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans in the past two decades. The Met’s decision follows that of other museums and universities, including the Tate Modern, the...

Question of the Week — Did the Flint Jury Get it Right in Natasha Henderson’s Whistleblower Retaliation Case?

Posted  05/16/19
Sign of City of Flint Water Plant
In yet another chapter of Flint, Michigan’s ongoing water crisis saga, a jury sided with the city and against its former City Administrator, Natasha Henderson, in a whistleblower retaliation case regarding water crisis donations. Henderson alleged she was fired by Mayor Karen Weaver for questioning Weaver’s use of the donations. Weaver claimed she fired Henderson after she learned Henderson was warned of a...

Question of the Week — Should the CEO Be Held Accountable?: Lessons from the Insys verdict.

Posted  05/10/19
By Jessica T. Moore
Handcuffed business-leader walking through jail.
In a shocking first, a federal jury has convicted an opioid-company CEO and other top executives of a criminal racketeering conspiracy. Insys founder and chairman John Kapoor and four other executives bribed doctors to overprescribe a highly addictive fentanyl painkiller, and ran a phony call-center to defraud insurance companies into paying for the expensive drug. Although the company itself had already paid over...

Question of the Week — Should we shut the "back door" to college admissions and end tax breaks for donations to colleges and universities?

Posted  05/1/19
grad cap with money
The New York Times reported today that federal prosecutors are pursuing a new set of parents in the college admissions fraud scandal, sending ripples of fear through elite circles in Southern California and stirring speculation about which well-heeled executive or celebrity might be the next to be charged. There is little disagreement that the parents caught up in the bribery scandal did something wrong. Criminal,...

Question of the Week — Will we see you at the OffshoreAlert Conference?

Posted  04/24/19
Aerial view of Miami Beach
Publisher OffshoreAlert, which bills itself as “the unofficial financial regulator” and specializes in reporting about offshore financial centers with an emphasis on fraud investigations, is hosting its annual North American conference on Financial Intelligence & Investigations on April 28-30th in Miami, Florida. For a second year, Constantine Cannon Partner Eric Havian will lead a panel with representatives...

Question of the Week — Have you listened to the Talking Feds podcast yet?

Posted  04/17/19
Talking Feds Podcast Logo with Microphone
Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Lawyer, former United States Attorney, and Washington Post Columnist, Harry Litman has launched a fascinating – and timely – new podcast, Talking Feds. The weekly podcast is a roundtable discussion that features different former Department of Justice prosecutors that analyze newsworthy criminal cases, including Robert Mueller’s investigation. Past episodes have featured a...

Question of the Week — Should the Supreme Court Clarify Escobar?

Posted  04/4/19
Meeting Room with Chairs
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals in two False Claims Act (FCA) cases: U.S. ex rel. Berg v. Honeywell Int’l and Stephens Inst. v. U.S. ex rel. Rose. Each case was dismissed by a lower court based on the FCA’s materiality standard, with heavy citations to the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision Universal Health Servs. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar. Berg and Rose are the fourth and fifth...
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