Dykema Gossett PLLC

Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog

Posts by Jonathan S. Feld

Contributors

Photo of Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog Jonathan S. Feld
Member
jfeld@dykema.com
312-627-5680
View Bio

Showing 12 posts by Jonathan S. Feld.

Nursing Home Compliance Under the COVID-19 Microscope

Nursing homes have been on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as they care for the persons most at risk. In an effort to improve safety and curb the spread of COVID-19, federal and state authorities are relaxing certain compliance obligations. Despite this regulatory latitude, nursing facilities should remain aware that federal and state agencies continue to closely monitor nursing home compliance. Read More ›

Fighting Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19

The federal government continues to develop responses to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and now turns toward combatting COVID-19 related fraud. Attorney General Barr issued a memo on March 16, 2020 calling on all U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attorneys to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to COVID-19. Following Attorney General Barr’s instruction, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois appointed a federal prosecutor to lead the district’s crackdown of scammers attempting to leverage the pandemic for fraudulent purposes. U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country are expected to follow this path to coordinate with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to lead fraud investigations and enforcement. Read More ›

The National Nursing Home Initiative: New DOJ Taskforce Bolsters Nursing Home Enforcement

On March 3, 2020, Attorney General William Barr announced the National Nursing Home Initiative–a new U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) taskforce organized to push criminal and civil enforcement action against nursing homes across the country. The initiative will help coordinate DOJ enforcement actions against nursing homes that provide “grossly substandard care.” Read More ›

The False Claims Act Goes Abroad: Michigan Research Institute Falls Under DOJ False Claims Act Scrutiny

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has resolved false claims against a sector not typically prone to FCA attacks—research institutions. In December 2019, the DOJ reached a $5.5 million settlement agreement with a Michigan non-profit research institute, the Van Andel Research Institute (“VARI”). The DOJ alleged that VARI failed to disclose foreign funding upon the application for, and over the term of, a federal grant. Read More ›

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Expert Challenge to Clinical Judgment Decision in Hospice False Claims Act Litigation

On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an important decision for health care providers, especially those in the hospice industry. In U.S. v. AseraCare, Inc., No.16-13004, Slip. Op. (11th Cir. September 9, 2019), the Court held that a “reasonable disagreement between medical experts” about prognosis for a terminally ill patient, without more, cannot establish falsity. Slip. Op. at 3. The case began in 2008 as a qui tam action when former AseraCare company employees filed a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that AseraCare submitted documents that falsely certified some Medicare patients were “terminally ill” and eligible for hospice care. The Government intervened. While the Eleventh Circuit remanded to the District Court to review its ruling in favor of AseraCare, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling that differing medical opinions do not qualify as “objective” evidence of falsity required by the False Claims Act.

 Read More ›

New Development: Government Authority to Dismiss Qui Tam Actions

The False Claims Act grants the government the authority to dismiss qui tam actions over the objections of the relator if “the court has provided the person with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion.”  31 USCS § 3730. However, what constitutes a “hearing” under the Act and the extent of the government’s authority to unilaterally dismiss qui tam actions has been the subject of dispute amongst the Courts of Appeals. Read More ›

Supreme Court Exposes FCA Defendants To Decade-Old Relator Suits

When the Supreme Court accepted the cert petition to resolve a Circuit split regarding the False Claims Act’s statute of limitations when the government does not intervene, it created the potential that the Court would extend the limitations period for private relators’ FCA actions. That is exactly what happened. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a relator can bring suit within three years after a government official knows, or should know, about a potential FCA violation—up to 10 years after the underlying event—and the relator does not count as a government official. Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, No. 18-315 (U.S. May 13, 2019). FCA defendants may, therefore, face more qui tam suits reaching further back into their memories and records. Read More ›

A Longer Statute of Limitations for False Claims Act Qui Tam Suits?

A Supreme Court case to be decided this term will determine whether to extend the statute of limitations for private relators’ FCA actions in which the government does not intervene. United States ex rel. Hunt v. Cochise Consultancy, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 6778, at *1 (Nov. 16, 2018). The Department of Justice wants relators to have the same 10 year statute of limitations as the government has in cases where the government does intervene. Read More ›

Back to the Old Regime: The DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Newest Compliance Approach

On October 12, 2018, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski spoke at the NYU School of Law where he announced new guidelines regarding the procedures governing corporate compliance and monitorships.[1] While most of the attention has been on the new criteria for selecting corporate monitors, AAG Benczkowski also announced that the DOJ will not be hiring new corporate compliance counsel within the Criminal Division, a break from the practices of the previous administration. Read More ›

Reading the Tea Leaves: Understanding OIG Priorities

The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) issues work plans (“Work Plan”) that addresses priority areas and emerging issues. For many years, the OIG published its Work Plan every two years with intermediate updates published once or twice each calendar year. Beginning on June 15, 2017, however, the OIG changed its practice and publishes the Work Plan on a monthly basis. These monthly updates are published through the OIG’s Work Plan website. Read More ›