FTC Supports Easing Dental Hygienist Restrictions, Increasing Access to Underserved

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) released a statement on January 29 in support of a Georgia state bill that would further relax supervision requirements for dental hygienists. The proposed bill would expand the safety-net settings where Georgia dental hygienists may work without the direct …

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Criminal Conviction Leaves Defendant Defenseless in FCA Civil Action

Pity Dr. Christina Clardy.  In 2011 she was convicted of health care fraud, sentenced to 135 months in prison, and ordered to pay $16 million in restitution.   Then in 2014 the government added Christina as a defendant in its pending False Claims Act (FCA) civil action against her cronies in the physical …

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Blame Flows Downhill: All the Way to Sales Clerks

What if a store clerk sells a product that, unbeknownst to him, is illegal?  Can the clerk be convicted of a crime, despite not knowing the product was illegal and not intending to sell an illegal product?  On January 14, 2016, the Eighth Circuit answered that question with a resounding yes, upholding the …

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Was Whistleblowing a Reason for Firing or the Reason?

The outcome of a physician whistleblower’s retaliation claim against his former medical group turns on the question whether whistleblowing was a reason or the reason he was fired.  If it was a reason, he loses.  If it was the reason, he wins. Dr. Donald Helfer was an anesthesiologist and shareholder with …

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Delayed Filing Date for 2015 Forms 1094 & 1095

On December 28, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4, in which it delayed the deadline for filing 2015 Forms 1094 with the IRS and providing 2015 Forms 1095 to individuals. This will likely come as a great relief to many employers who have been figuring out how to complete these new forms, which are required to comply …

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Triple Damages Sufficiently Punitive to Bar Punitive Damages

Jennifer Gierer says she was fired because she expressed concerns about her employer’s submission of false durable medical equipment claims to Medicare.  So she sued her employer and her boss, alleging (a) retaliation under the False Claims Act, (b) unpaid wages and commissions under Missouri law, (c) unjust …

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