Last week, Mintz Levin’s Health Care Enforcement Defense Group published a new Qui Tam Update, which analyzes 46 health care-related False Claims Act qui tam cases unsealed in February and March 2018 and the trends they reflect:
- Long delays in unsealing remain common. While one case was unsealed after 61 days (just one day over the 60-day period specified by statute), the average time under seal for these cases was 851 days (i.e., approximately 2 years, 4 months). The oldest case was under seal for just over 6 years.
- 17 of the 46 cases were dismissed in their entirety. The remaining 29 cases were still active.
- Former employees were again the most common type of relator, accounting for 23 of the 46 cases at issue. Current employees and business partners were also among relators.
- Notably, patients joined the relator ranks in two of the cases we reviewed.
- These cases were filed in 38 different courts. Jurisdictions with the most unsealed cases were:
- Middle District of Florida (Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa) with six;
- Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) with three; and
- District of Kansas, the Eastern District of Tennessee (Chattanooga and Knoxville), the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), and the Southern District of Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach) with two each.
- Home health and hospice providers, as well as hospitals and hospital systems, were the most common type of defendant in the cases we reviewed (with 7 cases filed against home health and hospice providers and 7 cases filed against hospitals and hospital systems). Five cases were brought against pharmaceutical and biotech firms; three cases were filed against physicians and physician practices; and three case were filed against health insurers.