COURT CALLS SECOND STRIKE ON WHISTLEBLOWER

For a second time the Maryland federal district court has dismissed a whistleblower suit alleging Medicare fraud for off-label use of a medication patch.  A former sales representative for the manufacturer claimed the patch was prescribed for longer than the FDA-approved 14 days.  The first time around, the …

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CRITICISM OF 340B HOSPITALS CONTINUES

Criticism of the hospitals participating in the 340B drug program continues, and it’s a matter of grave concern to safety-net and other qualifying hospitals. Yesterday the Alliance for Integrity & Reform of 340B issued a report titled Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care Provided by 340B …

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WHISTLEBLOWER CASE SURVIVES WITHOUT IDENTIFYING FALSE CLAIMS

In a decision of special interest to academic medical centers, a federal court in Tennessee last Wednesday refused to dismiss a False Claims suit brought by three physician whistleblowers against Vanderbilt Medical Center.  They allege that Vanderbilt billed Medicare for supervising physicians when, in fact, no …

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ILL. COURT QUASHES MED RECORD SUBPOENA IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE

At first glance, it doesn’t seem out of line for a trucking company to seek medical records in a case where its tractor-trailer allegedly caused a fatal collision.  And, in fact, the Illinois federal district court initially issued the subpoena.  But on March 11 the same court quashed the subpoena. Why?  …

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CRIMINAL INDICTMENT FOR FALSE EHR CERTIFICATION

Hospital executives already lie awake at night worrying about Recovery Audit Contractor audits (RACs), whistleblowers, treble damage recoveries, and $5,500-per-false-invoice penalties.  Now they can add personal criminal indictment to the list—that is, if they plan to falsely certify “meaningful use” of …

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HOSPITAL SELF-DISCLOSURE RESULTS IN $8.5 M SETTLEMENT

Last Friday the DOJ announced an $8.5 million settlement of possible Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, and False Claims Act violations voluntarily disclosed by Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Ohio. In 2012 Memorial (now known as Promedica Memorial) Hospital’s own internal audit revealed two financial relationships with …

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