Health Care Industry and 2009-2010 Changes to False Claims Act

The health care industry is adjusting to major changes to the nation’s major “whistleblower” law, the False Claims Act.

Both in 2009 and 2010, Congress has removed obstacles to whistleblowers’ use of this anti-fraud statute to address Medicare and Medicaid fraud, as well as fraud affecting every other federal program. As we have written about previously, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (“FERA”) overruled key judicial decisions that had undermined the the False Claims Act’s effectiveness.

This year, the landmark health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), limited the FCA’s “public disclosure” bar, including by allowing the government to prevent dismissal of cases that it believes should proceed.

At the Health Care Compliance Association’s “Fraud and Compliance Forum” on Sept. 26-28, 2010 in Baltimore, Rick Shackelford of King & Spalding, LLP and I will discuss the effects on health care organizations of these 2009 and 2010 changes to the False Claims Act.

Rick is an outstanding defense attorney in these cases, and I look forward to discussing these important changes in the False Claims Act from his perspective as defense counsel for hospitals, pharmacy providers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, health plans, pharmacy benefits managers, managed care organizations, physician organizations, and other health care organizations; and from my perspective as a former defense counsel who for years has represented “whistleblowers” or relators in health care fraud and other cases under the qui tam (or whistleblower) provisions of the False Claims Act.