The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just announced annual inflation-related increases to civil monetary penalties (CMPs) in its regulations, including those promulgated by the Office of Inspector General, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration. Specifically, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, HHS is applying a 1.02041 inflation “multiplier” (i.e., a 2.041% increase) to CMPs assessed on or after October 11, 2018, if the violation occurred on or after November 2, 2015. If the violation occurred prior to November 2, 2015, or a penalty was assessed prior to September 6, 2016, the pre-adjustment CMP amounts in effect prior to September 6, 2016 will apply.
Note that many of the 2018 maximum CMP amounts have been increased significantly more than 2.041% as a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was signed into law on February 9, 2018. For instance, the maximum CMP has increased from $55,262 to $100,000 for: (1) knowingly making or causing to be made a false statement, omission or misrepresentation of a material fact in any application, bid, or contract to participate or enroll as a provider or supplier (42 CFR 1003.210(a)(6)), and (2) making or using a false record or statement that is material to a false or fraudulent claim (42 CFR 1003.210(a)(7)). Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the inflation adjustments to CMPs assessed or enforced by DOJ components, including False Claims Act violations under 31 U.S.C. 3729(a).