Archives: Fraud and Abuse Developments

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Yates Memo Promises to be a Game-Changer for Health Care Executives

The Department of Justice’s “Yates Memo” sets forth regulatory principles, applicable to both civil and criminal investigations, to ensure that individuals are held accountable for corporate wrongdoing. While several U.S. Attorney Offices had been applying many of these principles already, the Yates Memo now establishes the principles expected to be followed by all U.S. Attorney Offices and … Continue Reading

DOJ Win on ACA 60-Day Overpayment Rule in Kane v. Healthfirst FCA Case

In a post on our Life Sciences Legal Update blog here, we discuss the first judicial opinion interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s “60-Day Overpayment Rule” in a False Claims Act case, which was recently issued by the Southern District of New York. In Kane v. Healthfirst, Inc., et al. the court ruled in favor of … Continue Reading

CMS Fraud Prevention System Credited with $820 Million in Medicare Savings to Date

CMS has announced that its Fraud Prevention System identified or prevented $820 million in inappropriate Medicare payments during its first three years, including $454 million in 2014 alone. The Fraud Prevention System uses predictive analytics technologies to identify fraudulent claims before they are paid. CMS also intends to expand the Fraud Prevention System and its algorithms … Continue Reading

Will Physician Payment Sunshine Act Data Usher in a New Era of False Claims Act Litigation?

While attention has been focused on Medicare physician payment data released by CMS yesterday, upcoming Sunshine Act data will shine a new spotlight on financial relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical and medical device companies - with potential False Claims Act (FCA) implications. Specifically, last week marked the deadline for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to register with and submit aggregate 2013 payment and investment interest data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on certain financial relationships between themselves and physicians and teaching hospitals, as required by the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. In May, manufacturers and GPOs will be required to submit to CMS detailed 2013 payment data. With some exceptions, CMS will be making these data public by September 1, 2014. While the publicly-available data are intended to provide more transparency for patients, to allow them to have a better understanding of the financial relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical and medical device companies, patients will certainly not be the only group interested in this public information. It is likely that the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, and relators' attorneys will utilize these data to initiate investigations and support complaints under the federal FCA.… Continue Reading

RACs Correct $2.4 Billion in Medicare Claims in FY 2012

CMS has released data on Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) operations fiscal year 2012. Key findings included the following: In FY 2012, Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) RACs collectively identified and corrected 1,272,297 claims for improper payments, which resulted in $2.4 billion in improper payments being corrected ($2.3 billion in overpayments/$109.4 million in underpayments). Subtracting fees, costs, and … Continue Reading

DME MACs Warn Doctors About DMEPOS Supplier “Marketing Schemes”

The four Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) medical directors have issued a joint open letter to physicians warning about “various marketing schemes” perpetrated by DME suppliers. Such methods cited by the DME MACs in a March 5, 2014 “Dear Physician” letter include unsolicited orders for medical equipment or supplies; advertisements that … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Cites Record-Breaking Health Fraud Recoveries under Joint DOJ-HHS Program

According to the latest Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC) Annual Report, federal health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts resulted in the recovery of a record $4.3 billion in FY 2013, up from $4.2 billion in FY 2012. In announcing detailed enforcement achievements, the Administration cites new ACA authorities – including enhanced … Continue Reading

CMS Extends and Expands Moratoria on Enrollment of Home Health Agency, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

Citing significant potential for fraud and abuse, CMS has announced that it is temporarily suspending new home health agency (HHA) and ground ambulance enrollment in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in several geographic areas, and it is extending the current enrollment moratoria for these provider types in separate areas. Specifically, effective January … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces Additional Health Care Fraud Recovery Statistics

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it collected at least $8 billion in civil and criminal actions in FY 2013, including approximately $3.2 billion related to civil health care fraud cases and $450 million in criminal fines associated with health care fraud.  In addition, the DOJ/HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force had a record number … Continue Reading

DOJ Touts $3.8 Billion in FY 2013 False Claims Act Recoveries

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it recovered $3.8 billion in settlements and judgments in civil False Claims Act cases in fiscal year (FY) 2013, including health care fraud recoveries totaling approximately $2.6 billion. The DOJ notes that about $1.8 billion in recoveries involved alleged false claims for drugs and medical devices under … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Top HHS Management Challenges

The OIG has issued its latest list of top management and performance challenges facing HHS, reflecting “continuing vulnerabilities that OIG has identified for HHS over recent years as well as new and emerging issues that HHS will face in the coming year.”  This year’s list includes the following challenges: (1) Overseeing the Health Insurance Marketplaces; … Continue Reading

OIG Issues Fall 2013 Semiannual Report

The OIG has issued its Semiannual Report to Congress for the period of April 1 – September 30, 2013, in which it highlights significant investigation, audit, and enforcement activities and achievements across HHS programs. For all of FY 2013, the OIG reports expected recoveries of more than $5.8 billion, consisting of almost $850 million in audit … Continue Reading

OIG Calls for Greater Scrutiny of Clinicians with High Cumulative Medicare Payments

The OIG has issued a report focusing on individual clinicians who generated high cumulative Medicare Part B payments (defined for purposes of this report as more than $3 million in Part B services) in 2009. Out of 303 such clinicians identified by the OIG, 34% had been identified for improper payment reviews, and as of … Continue Reading

OIG Report Addresses Potential Hospital EHR Technology Vulnerabilities

An OIG report released in December 2013 assessed the extent to which hospitals that received Medicare EHR incentive payments as of March 2012 had implemented fraud safeguards for EHR technology previously recommended by an HHS contractor, RTI International, and set forth in a 2007 HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Effectiveness of ZPIC Program Integrity Efforts

A recent GAO report assesses the effectiveness of Medicare Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPICs) — contractors that perform program integrity activities designed to fight Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse. While the GAO notes that ZPICs take credit for over $250 million in Medicare savings in 2012 from actions such as stopping payment on suspect claims, … Continue Reading

Device Manufacturer Files Challenge to OIG Special Fraud Alert on Physician-Owned Distributors

As reported on our sister blog,, Reliance Medical Systems, LLC, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California this week that seeks a declaration that an Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Fraud Alert on physician-owned distributors (PODs) unfairly and unconstitutionally burdens First Amendment rights of free speech … Continue Reading

CMS Releases FY 2011 RAC Report, RAC “Myths” Document

CMS has released a report to Congress on “Recovery Auditing in the Medicare and Medicaid Programs for Fiscal Year 2011”.  According to CMS, recovery auditors identified and corrected 887,291 claims amounting to $939.3 million in improper payments in fiscal year 2011; while most of the improper payments ($797.4 million) were overpayments, the auditors also were … Continue Reading

FY 2012 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Report

On February 11, 2013, the Obama Administration announced that anti-fraud efforts under the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC) recovered a record-breaking amount of $4.2 billion in FY 2012. More specifically, in 2012 the Justice Department opened 1,131 new criminal health care fraud investigations involving 2,148 potential defendants, and a total of 826 … Continue Reading

Justice Department Reports Nearly $5 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries for FY 2012

The Department of Justice recently announced that it secured a record $4.9 billion in settlements and judgments in civil fraud cases in FY 2012, including health care fraud recoveries totaling more than $3 billion. The Department notes that some of the largest recoveries during the year – representing nearly $2 billion — involved false claims … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Improvements in Use of Medicare Prepayment Edits

In light of a continued high rate of Medicare fee-for-service improper payments (8.6% in FY 2011), the GAO recently assessed the use of Medicare prepayment edits and CMS’s oversight of Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) that process claims.  In the report, "Medicare Program Integrity: Greater Prepayment Control Efforts Could Increase Savings and Better Ensure Proper Payment," the GAO … Continue Reading

GAO Reviews Effectiveness of Medicaid Program Integrity Efforts

A recent GAO report, “Medicaid Integrity Program: CMS Should Take Steps to Eliminate Duplication and Improve Efficiency,” points to a number of shortcomings in CMS Medicaid program integrity efforts. Among other things, the GAO found that Medicaid Integrity Group’s (MIG) oversight and support activities had mixed results in achieving the goal of enhancing program integrity … Continue Reading

OIG Reports Almost $7 Billion in Audit/Investigation Recoveries for FY 2012

On November 27, 2012, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its fall Semiannual Report to Congress, which summarizes significant OIG enforcement, investigation, and audit activities for the period of April 1 – September 30, 2012, along with summary information for all of FY 2012. Most notably, the OIG reports approximately $6.9 billion in … Continue Reading

Hospitals Return Fire After Administration Warns Hospitals Against Gaming Payments through Electronic Health Records

This post was written by Scot Hasselman and Debra McCurdy. In a letter to five major hospital associations on September 24, 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., made sweeping generalizations about the improper utilization of electronic health record (EHR) technology to “game the system” to increase reimbursement. In a letter … Continue Reading