Finally, Recovery of Attorney Fees for Government Overreach

There are two major, interrelated reasons why government contractors, including Medicare providers, are so afraid of the False Claims Act (FCA). One is the draconian nature of the liability: treble damages plus up to $21,916 in penalties per claim. That means, for example, a knowing overcharge of $5 on a single …

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Maybe the Yacht Was the Tip-Off

If you’re a surgical device distributor and you want to reward a surgeon for using your products on Medicare and Medicaid patients, you may want to choose a reward that’s less conspicuous than a yacht. That’s one lesson in the recent decision in US ex rel. Cairns v. D.S. Med.  In denying defendants’ …

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Ind. Upholds Reduction of Obese Decedent’s Life Expectancy

Actuarial tables put the life expectancy of a 31-year-old male at 46.5 more years. But when Christopher McDaniel died at 31, allegedly as a result of medical negligence, the court calculated his life expectancy at no more than six years and set damages accordingly. What’s the explanation? According to the …

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Reverse Midas: Doctor Turns His $38K Debt into $65K Debt

Dr. Bob Halterman is something of a Midas-in-Reverse.  His refusal to pay $38,000 he owed Johnson Regional Medical Center resulted in a $65,000 judgment in favor of the hospital. When the hospital recruited Dr. Bob, the parties executed three documents: a recruitment agreement, a promissory note for $50,000 …

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It’s Not Always Obvious What’s Obvious

If you think it’s easy to determine what’s obvious and what’s not, take a look at the recent Federal Circuit decision in Millennium Pharmaceuticals v. Sandoz. The lower court had determined that a process was obvious. The circuit court held that it was not obvious and that the lower court’s determination …

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Think You Know Hospital Staffing Levels?

A lot of people think they know something about hospital staffing levels: the proper ratio of nurses to patients. From time to time a legislator, patient advocate, or union spokesman will propose a required ratio—often a one-size-fits-all number. They ought to take a look at a recent federal court decision on …

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