FCA NOW

Supreme Court Declines to Weigh In on Latest Dispute Over Pleading Standard for Causes of Action Brought Under the False Claims Act

The Supreme Court recently denied three petitions for writs of certiorari, opting not to clarify the heightened pleading requirements for allegations of fraud under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The cases for which certiorari was denied are Molina Healthcare of Illinois v. Prose, No. 21-1145; United States ex rel. Owsley v. Fazzi Associates, Inc., No. 21-936; and Johnson v. Bethany Hospice LLC, No. 21-462. For...

Massachusetts Follows Several Other States in Settling with Medicaid Managed Care Giant

On September 29, 2022, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Medicaid managed care and pharmacy benefits giant Centene Corporation agreed to pay $14 million to resolve claims that it overcharged MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program.  This latest settlement comes shortly after Centene struck similar deals in other states, including a $33 million deal to end a False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit in Washington. Centene...

DC Circuit Adopts Pro Tanto Rule for “Common Damages” in FCA Claims Involving Multiple Defendants

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently considered the extent to which settlements in related False Claims Act cases must be offset against damages owed by non-settling parties – and the appropriate measure for allocating previous settlements in later related cases. In United States v. Honeywell Int’l Inc., the Department of Justice sued Honeywell for providing allegedly defective material in bulletproof...

DOJ Announces First-In-The-Nation False Claims Act Settlement with PPP Lender

The government has been actively investigating and prosecuting Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP” or the “Program”) fraud ever since the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) rolled out the Program in the Spring of 2020 to provide SBA-backed loans to help eligible businesses maintain their workforces during the COVID-19 pandemic. At first the government’s efforts focused on cases of obvious fraud, resulting in criminal charges. The criminal prosecutions...

Eighth Circuit Analyzes Scope of FCA Liability Under Anti-Kickback Statute

On July 26, 2022, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion interpreting the standard for the causal link the government must show to establish that a “false or fraudulent” claim under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) included “items or services resulting from a violation” of 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(g), the federal anti-kickback statute.  United States ex rel. Cairns v. D.S. Med. LLC, 2022...

A Hefty Speaking Fee: Biogen Inc. Agrees to Settle False Claims Act Suit In Violation of Anti-Kickback Statute for $900 Million

On July 20, 2022, Biogen Inc. (“Biogen”) disclosed in a quarterly earnings report that it had agreed to pay $900 million to resolve a qui tam claim by a former employee that the company had violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”). See Biogen Reports Second Quarter 2022 Results; see also United States ex rel. Bawduniak v. Biogen Idec, Inc.,...

DOJ Secures FCA Settlement with Health Services Companies

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts recently secured a settlement agreement resolving allegations that Molina Healthcare, Inc. and its prior subsidiary, Pathways of Massachusetts, which provide mental health services in Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts, violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq. and the Massachusetts-equivalent to the FCA. The settlement agreement also resolves similar claims brought by employees...

SCOTUS to Address Government’s Authority to Dismiss FCA Cases

The United States Supreme Court recently granted review of a decision from the Third Circuit that affirmed the dismissal of an FCA case at the government’s request.  Polansky v. Exec. Health Res., 17 F.4th 376, 393 (3d Cir. 2021); Polansky v. Exec. Health Res., 21-1052 (June 21, 2022).  Polansky resisted the government’s request to dismiss his case, arguing that the government had no authority to...

DOJ Announces Settlement with Home-Health Services Company Over FCA Kickback and Overbilling Allegations

The Department of Justice recently announced that it resolved two civil lawsuits filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act to the tune of nearly $4 million. The suits alleged that a suburban Chicago diagnostics company, SNAP Diagnostics, LLC, that provides home testing for sleep disorders was defrauding Medicare and four other federal health care programs through kickbacks and unnecessary...

Seventh Circuit Says Summary Judgment Stands: Evidence Does Not Support FCA Retaliation

Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment decision dismissing a former employee’s False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliation suit. Lam v. Springs Window Fashions, LLC, No. 21-2665, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 16633 (7th Cir. June 16, 2022). The appellate court agreed that the employer’s conduct fell short of “harassment” under the statute, and that the employee failed to establish a causal connection...