Health Care Fraud Lawyers Gather to Discuss Amendments to False Claims Act and Other Whistleblower Developments

Attorneys from across the country will gather tomorrow in Atlanta to discuss health care fraud and the 2009 amendments to the False Claims Act, the nation’s primary whistleblower statute.

I am pleased to be on the panel discussing “False Claims Act Developments,” moderated by Jack Boese of Fried Frank. This will be a particularly interesting year for this annual meeting, as Congress enacted major changes to the False Claims Act that took effect on May 20, 2009.

In addition, the “Health Care Fraud Enforcement Act” pending in the Senate would enhance further the government’s tools used to investigate and remedy Medicare and Medicaid fraud. This bill would remove any question that all payments made pursuant to illegal kickbacks are “false” for purposes of the False Claims Act.

Among the significant 2009 changes to the False Claims Act made by the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act are the following:

1. The amendments expanded the definition of “claim,” and fraud directed against government contractors, grantees, and other recipients is now plainly covered by the False Claims Act.

2. Funds administered by the United States government (e.g., in Iraq) are now protected.

3. Retaining overpayments of money from the government is now a stated basis of liability, which is a source of concern for health care providers, among others.

4. Liability for “conspiracy” to violate the Act is now broader.

5. Protection of whistleblowers and others against “retaliation” now extends not only to “employees,” but also to “contractors” and “agents”; and persons other than “employers” potentially may be liable for retaliation.

6. In investigations, the government now has authority to use “Civil Investigative Demands” more broadly, and to share information more with state and local authorities and with whistleblowers/relators.

7. A standard definition of what is “material” now applies in False Claims Act cases.

8. The statute of limitations has been clarified for when the government asserts its own claims, after the whistleblower (or “relator”) has filed a qui tam case under the False Claims Act.

The full agenda for tomorrow’s “SOUTHEASTERN HEALTH CARE FRAUD INSTITUTE” is below:

SOUTHEASTERN HEALTH CARE FRAUD INSTITUTE
DECEMBER 17, 2009

State Bar of Georgia Headquarters 104 Marietta St. NW Atlanta, GA

Co-Sponsors:
Health Law Section, State Bar of Georiga
Presiding:
Joe D. Whitley, Program Chair, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Atlanta & Washington, DC Paul B. Murphy, Program Co-Chair, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta
7:45 REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST (All attendees must check in upon arrival. A removable jacket or sweater is recommended.)

8:20 WELCOME AND PROGRAM OVERVIEW Joe D. Whitley Paul B. Murphy
8:30 FEDERAL AND STATE–HEALTH CARE FRAUD INITIATIVES Moderator:
Paul B. Murphy
Panelists:
Randy S. Chartash, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Charles M. Richards, Director, State Health Care Fraud Control Unit, Tucker Kirk Ogrosky, Deputy Chief for Health Care Fraud, U.S. Department of Justice, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, Washington, DC Paul J. Fike, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta
9:30 BREAK
9:45 FEDERAL AND STATE-FALSE CLAIMS ACT DEVELOPMENTS Moderator:
John T. Boese, Fried Frank, Washington, DC
Panelists:
Christopher J. Huber, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Michael A. Sullivan, Finch McCranie, LLP, Atlanta Marlan B. Wilbanks, Wilbanks & Bridges, Atlanta Paul N. Monnin, DLA Piper US LLP, Atlanta
10:45 ANTI-KICKBACK STATUTES and STARK ENFORCEMENT Moderator:
Gabriel Imperato, Broad & Cassel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Panelists:
Robert M. Keenan III, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta Charlene L. McGinty, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Atlanta Jacqueline C. Baratian, Alston & Bird LLP, Washingtion, DC
11:45 LUNCHEON (Included in registration fee)
“Looking Forward: Professionalism in 2010”
Amy Levine Weil, The Weil Firm, Atlanta; Former Chief, Appellate Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta
12:45 Health Care providers: general counsel ROUNDTABLE Moderator:
Joe D. Whitley
Panelists:
Jay D. Mitchell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Piedmont Healthcare, Inc., Atlanta Jane E. Jordan, Deputy General Counsel/Chief Health Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Emory University, Atlanta Paul Justice, Vice President and General Counsel, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Atlanta
1:45 before the government knocks: internal investigations and voluntary disclosure Moderator:
R. Joseph Burby, IV, Bryan Cave LLP, Atlanta
Panelists:
Christopher C. Burris, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta Mark P. Schnapp, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Miami, FL Don J. DeGabrielle, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Houston, TX
2:35 after the government knocks: handling a health care fraud case (emphasis on parallel proceedings)
Moderator:
Anthony L. Cochran, Chilivis, Cochran, Larkins & Bever, LLP, Atlanta
Panelists:
Glenn D. Baker, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Richard H. Deane, Jones Day, Atlanta Michael L. Brown, Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta
3:25 BREAK
3:40 Office of inspector general initiatives Moderator:
Nancy E. Taylor, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists:
Kenneth E. Hooper, Hooper Cornell PLLC, Boise, ID Julie L. Nielsen, Health Care Litigation & Investigations Consultant, Tampa, FL Jonathan Diesenhaus, Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC
4:30 ADJOURN