Category: Healthcare Fraud and Abuse

Federal Government’s Charges against 60 Medical Personnel for Illegal Prescribing and Distributing of Opioids Demonstrates Continued Focus on Compliance throughout Supply-Chain

Nicole Burgmeier

Today, the Federal Government announced enforcement actions against 60 defendants in eleven federal districts, including 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners, and seven other licensed medical professional for allegedly prescribing and distribution opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes. (DOJ Press Release, April 17, 2019). The charges involve over 350,000...

CMS “Actively Working” on Stark Law Reforms to be Issued Later this Year; “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care” Continues

Laura B. Morgan

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is “actively working” on updates to regulations under the federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”), according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma during a March 4, 2019 speech. Verma stated that the updated regulations will be issued later this year, and “will represent the most significant changes...

Drug Rebates Threatened Under Proposed Anti-kickback Rule

Benjamin Fee

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) released a proposed rule to eliminate safe harbor protection under the anti-kickback statute for drug price reductions that pharmaceutical manufacturers pay to Medicare and Medicaid plan sponsors and their pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”). The OIG proposed replacing the current safe harbor...

For FY2018, Justice Department Touts Nearly $3 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries, Mostly From Qui Tams and Alleged Healthcare Frauds

Alex Hontos

The Justice Department announced in a recent press release that it obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. For more information, visit our FCA Now Blog: For FY2018, Justice Department Touts Nearly $3 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries, Mostly From Qui Tams...

OIG Seeks Public Input on Anti-Kickback Statute and Beneficiary Inducements CMP as part of the “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care”

Laura B. Morgan

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has identified the anti-kickback statute (AKS) and beneficiary inducements civil monetary penalty (CMP) as potential barriers to arrangements that could promote better patient care coordination and value-based arrangements.  On August 27, 2018, the OIG published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input...

Calls for Modernizing the Stark Law Continue; CMS Seeks Public Input on Stark Law Reforms

Laura B. Morgan

Many regulatory and legislative calls for modernizing the federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) in light of the move to value-based payment under Medicare have been made in recent months.  Most recently, a hearing on “Modernizing the Stark Law to Ensure the Successful Transition from Volume to Value in the Medicare Program” took place...

Significant Changes in Healthcare Laws Enacted Through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: Stark, Civil and Criminal Penalties, Telehealth, ACOs and More

Benjamin Fee

Overview On February 9, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (“BBA”) into law. The BBA funds the federal government through March 23 and included a bipartisan agreement to increase annual spending authority for a two-year period. In addition, the legislation contains significant policy changes impacting Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health agencies....

Stark Law Reform a Focus of Recent Regulatory and Legislative Initiatives; 2018 DHS Code List and CPI-U Updates

Laura B. Morgan

Stark Law Reform Initiatives The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma recently identified federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) reform as a top policy priority and reported that an inter-agency group is being formed to review the law. Specifically, in a January 17 American Hospital Association Town Hall webcast focused...

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...