In both civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, 2017 was perhaps most notable for the cases brought against individual health care providers and small physician practice owners. Among the factors that may have resulted in the uptick in cases against individuals are the Yates Memo issued in late 2015, improved and increased reliance on sophisticated data analytics, and the aggressive focus on opioid addiction and its causes. Continue Reading Health Care Enforcement Review and 2018 Outlook: Criminal and Civil Enforcement Trends
The long-running test-referral prosecution against Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, LLC (“BLS”), a New Jersey clinical blood testing laboratory; its owner and employees; and BLS’s referring physicians recently reached another milestone. In a criminal case that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has called the “largest physician bribery case ever prosecuted,” resulting in 40 guilty pleas, BLS was sentenced on June 28, 2016 and ordered to forfeit all of its assets.
In addition, on June 30, 2016, the 27th BLS referring physician pleaded guilty to charges that he violated the Federal Travel Act by taking bribes from BLS. The physician admitted that, between April 2011 and June 2012, BLS paid him approximately $1,500 per month. This physician plea is another in the long line of individual criminal pleas, 38 of which are catalogued here. Continue Reading Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services Sentenced; Another Physician Pleads Guilty
This week a federal district court in Ohio ruled in favor of Mobilex USA (Mobilex), the country’s largest mobile medical imaging company, on a motion for summary judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit filed by a former employee, Kevin P. McDonough. McDonough accused Mobilex of underpricing imaging services supplied to Medicare Part A beneficiaries so that it could obtain more lucrative Medicare Part B business. Mobilex bills nursing homes directly, based on negotiated contracted rates, for Medicare Part A services because the nursing homes receive a per diem payment that covers most services, including mobile imaging, furnished to Medicare Part A beneficiaries. The contracted rates typically are less than what Mobilex receives when it bills Medicare directly for Part B services. McDonough alleged that this scheme of underpricing one service to secure additional business – commonly referred to as “swapping” – violated the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), which in turn led to violations of the FCA. Continue Reading Federal Court Rejects Relator’s Swapping Allegations in False Claims Act Case