OIG Approves Lease of Employees to Psych Hospital

On July 28 the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services gave its blessing to a health system’s lease of employees to a related psychiatric system.  Under the arrangement the system would also provide management services.  In return, the hospital would pay the system its “fully …

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Beware of Nurses Bearing Gifts

Alisia and David blew the whistle on their former employer, Nurses’ Registry & Home Health, for sending gift baskets and ticket events to doctors who referred patients to the home health operation.  Their qui tam suit alleged that the gifts violated the Stark Law. The government joined in.  Nurses’ …

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9th Circ. Relaxes Requirements for “Original Source” Whistleblowers

The False Claims Act makes it illegal to obtain government money through false claims.  Under the Act a private party, known as a relator, may bring a civil suit on the government’s behalf against an entity that has allegedly violated the Act.  A relator stands to take home up to 30% of the amount the …

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Brace Yourself for another Round of Death Panel Debate

Remember the notorious “death panel” debate of 2009?  Congress was considering a proposal to pay doctors for end-of-life counseling.  Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin led the attack on the proposal, claiming that “death panels” would decide who lived and who died.  Many conservatives …

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Hospital May Fire Employee Whose Religion Prevented Working in Abortion Unit

On June 29 a federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought against a hospital by a former employee who was fired because she refused to work in a unit where abortions were performed. In 2012 Nikita Montgomery was hired to work in the Planned Parenthood department of a county hospital.  In accepting the employment, …

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Bill Would Extend CMPs to Federal Grants

The bill known as the “21st Century Cures,” H.R.6, would extend Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) to cover false claims and false statements relating to grants, contracts, and other agreements funded by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).  Falsehoods relating to clinical trials appear to be a …

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