Photo of Jonathan S. Feld

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced recoveries of more than $5.6 billion in False Claims Act settlements and judgments in fiscal year 2021. This amount is a staggering increase from the $2.2 billion recovered during fiscal year 2020 and the second-highest total ever recorded since the FCA was enacted in 1986.

Although a rebound from pandemic-related constraints may explain part of the substantial jump in recoveries, the near record-setting number also reflects the success of various recently implemented DOJ strategies, including using large-scale data mining and AI to identify high-value cases, a targeted approach in deciding when to intervene, and a focus on combating the opioid epidemic.

The healthcare industry continues to be the biggest target, with more than $5 billion, or close to 90 percent, of the awards relating to matters that involved drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians.

Continue Reading DOJ False Claims Act Recoveries Hit $5.6 Billion for Fiscal Year 2021; Healthcare Industry Remains Biggest Target

In support of Lucido’s investigation, Republicans in both houses of Michigan’s legislature have introduced bills to provide funds for county prosecutors for further investigation. Specifically,  Senate Bill 27, which the Senate already passed on a party line vote, appropriates $1.25 million for grants of up to $250,000 to prosecutors.  House Bill 4589, which was introduced on March 25, 2021, appropriates $5 million to the “Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council” for similar purposes. While it is unlikely either bill will become law, as they would require Governor Whitmer’s approval, Lucido’s efforts could have significant ramifications for the industry and, given the current political environment, are likely to spur “copy-cat” initiatives by prosecutors around the state and perhaps the nation.

Continue Reading Long Term Care Facilities Should Prepare for County Investigations Into COVID Deaths

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.
Continue Reading Nursing Home Compliance Under the COVID-19 Microscope