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Hospices and The False Claims Act: Proposed Amendment Would Increase Liability Risk



December 15, 2021
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Hospices and the False Claims Act Series

The False Claims Act (FCA) is the government’s most serious weapon to combat fraud in the healthcare community, and hospices are increasingly the target of FCA investigations and lawsuits. The United States Supreme Court is, for the first time, considering FCA cases involving hospices and certifications of terminal illness. Moreover, the relief funds disbursed by the government to hospices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic add to the existing and substantial number of bases of potential FCA liability for hospices. Aggressive government investigation, enforcement efforts and increased whistleblower activity is coming. Hospices can and should prepare for this new environment. In this series, Meg Pekarske talks with Husch Blackwell attorneys Bryan Nowicki, Jody Rudman and Brian Flood about emerging issues involving hospices and the FCA. Bryan, Jody and Brian will share their experiences as seasoned litigators in FCA cases to help hospices understand the FCA trends affecting hospices, and provide practical guidance to help hospices prepare themselves to preempt, combat and successfully face FCA allegations.

Proposed Amendment Would Increase Liability Risk

The False Claims Act is a powerful enforcement tool used to go after those who defraud the government. Unfortunately, the wide net cast by the False Claims Act can lead to extremely negative consequences for upstanding hospices. In this episode, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske and Bryan Nowicki discuss a proposed amendment to the False Claims Act that would widen that net even further, and describe the mounting opposition to this legislation.

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