Flying Pigs and False Claims

On July 7 the Fourth Circuit invoked Flying Pigs to vacate a lower federal court judgment in a Medicaid false claim case, even though neither the lower court nor any of the parties asked it to. The case started in 2007, when the relators filed a qui tam action in Virginia state court against several medical …

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Same Per-Click Rule, New Rationale

On July 7 CMS issued a proposed rule reaffirming its position that the Stark Law prohibits “per-click” rent payments when the lessor is the one referring the patients to the lessee for the “click,” e.g., the test or procedure.  Say, for example, a physician leases an X-ray machine to an imaging center. …

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Hospital Liability for Life-Saving Efforts?

Hospitals are in the business of saving lives.  So they don’t usually face liability for trying to do just that.  But a July 5 Georgia Supreme Court decision is a reminder that it’s up to the patient—not the hospital or doctor—to decide whether to undergo life-saving efforts, and defying the patient’s …

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Pharmacy Settles Claim for Filling Forged Rx’s, as Trend Continues

There was a time when liability—criminal or civil—for drug abuse or forged prescriptions usually lay only with the abuser or the forger and those who actively helped them.  Those days are long gone. First, we had PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring programs) up and running in 49 states, in effect making …

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When Damages May Exceed the Statutory Med Mal Cap

Dr. Steven Nathanson is the defendant in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a patient.  On June 24 the court rejected his motion for summary judgment on his claim that punitive damages are barred by West Virginia's medical malpractice act, which puts a $500,000 limit on damage awards for care of an …

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Ruling Puts Teeth in Antitrust Claims Against Dentistry Board

Remember the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision against the North Carolina Board of Dentistry last year?  The court ruled that a state dentistry board composed mostly of practicing dentists may not have state-action immunity from federal antitrust law. Now a Georgia federal court has upheld the standing of …

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