Jurisdiction to Freeze Assets but Not to Thaw Them

A recent Fourth Circuit opinion in a False Claims Act case demonstrates that while the government can freeze defendants’ assets before trial with lightning speed, getting them unfrozen can take anywhere from many years to never. In 2014 whistleblowers filed a qui tam action against BlueWave Healthcare …

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The Difference between Expecting Referrals & Inducing Them

A new Fifth Circuit opinion explains the difference between offering a benefit in order to induce a Medicare referral and offering it in the expectation of a referral.  The difference is important because the former is a serious federal crime, while the latter is perfectly legal. Whistleblower Susan Ruscher …

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Strangest Regulatory Interpretation of the Month

The Massachusetts federal district court is hands-down winner of the August award for strangest regulatory interpretation of the month. The interpretation came in the context of denial of Omnicare’s summary judgment motion in a False Claims Act (FCA) action brought against it by three whistleblowers.   The …

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Anti-Kickback Regs Near Approval, After Only 19 Years

The White House is reviewing proposed regulations to ease restrictions on certain financial arrangements between hospitals and physicians and on certain transactions between providers and patients.  The proposed regulations, received by the Office of Management & Budget on August 16, are certainly welcome to …

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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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Where’s the Crime in Providing Free Medical Care?

Can it be a crime to provide free medical care?  That’s the question presented by a post-conviction motion by the so-called King of Nursing Homes, Dr. V. Kuchipudi. Dr. K was convicted on nine counts of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and one count of conspiracy for an arrangement with now-defunct …

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