SIXTH CIRCUIT KNOCKS DOWN HAIL MARY PASS

Usually it’s the play-by-play announcer—not the scorekeeper— calling it a Hail Mary pass, and what he means is that it’s a desperate, pretty-near hopeless, last-ditch effort.  So yesterday when the Sixth Circuit Court used the term to describe a ProMedica argument, it was clear that the FTC had won the …

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CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL SETTLES WHISTLEBLOWER CASE FOR $7 MILLION

Yet another hospital has paid millions to settle a whistleblower suit brought by a former insider.  For over a decade Barbara Schubert worked for the physician-recruiting subsidiary of All Children’s Health System.  She became a whistleblower, claiming that All Children’s Hospital, also a subsidiary of the …

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WHY MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OUT OF A $1,300 DEBT?

Why make a federal case out of a $1,300 debt?  And why should hospitals care—especially those in the Seventh Circuit, which covers a large part of the Midwest? Indiana is divided into counties; the counties, into townships.  Mark Suesz lived one county over from Marion County.  He was treated at a hospital …

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AHA SUES HHS OVER TWO-MIDNIGHT RULE

Somebody had to do it—sue HHS to overturn the much-maligned two-midnight rule.  So, yesterday the American Hospital Association, joined by several other high-profile hospital organizations, filed a lawsuit against HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius (no wonder she’s resigning) to prevent enforcement of the …

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MOST IMAGINATIVE WHISTLEBLOWER THEORY OF THE MONTH

The votes are in, and the award for most imaginative whistleblower theory of March goes to Lisa Stratienko of Chattanooga, Tenn.  Sadly for Lisa, the False Claims Act doesn’t give points for being imaginative, and the court dismissed her claim under the FCA’s public disclosure bar—the provision that bars …

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WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS—AND IN DAYTONA OF ALL PLACES

Last month Halifax Hospital, in Daytona, Florida, agreed to pay $85 million to settle part of a suit brought by the federal government and a whistleblower (who is an employee of the hospital) for violations of the Stark Law.  The part that was settled centered on improperly providing incentives to physicians for …

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