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False Claims Act Brings in Record Amount for 2010

$2.5 billion in settlements in crackdown against fraud. The federal government has announced the largest settlement amounts in the history of the False Claims Act for fiscal 2010. The $2.5 billion amount received from healthcare False Claims Act cases remarkably does not include hundreds of millions of dollars that the Justice Department has secured from criminal penalties. Of note, for example, is that in addition to a $669 million False Claims Act settlement from Pfizer, there are also $1.3 billion in criminal fines and forfeiture.

Corporate executives targeted. With the help of an advocacy group representing whistle-blowers called Taxpayers Against Fraud, the government has a particular focus on high-level corporate executives whose organizations commit fraud under their watch. A recent criminal indictment of Lauren Stevens, former associate general counsel of GlaxoSmithKline, took place after she was accused of falsifying documents during a recent inquiry. Another executive indictment example is Mark Philip, former president of Stryker Corp., for allegedly encouraging surgeons to use unapproved mixtures of his company’s product during surgical procedures.

HHS OIG lays out roadmap for physician compliance. As a measure to help physicians avoid being excluded from participating in the Medicare and Medicaid program due to fraud and abuse, and to ensure legal compliance, the inspector general’s office has published a roadmap for physicians that can be found here: http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/PhysicianEducation/index.asp

For more information, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq., Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq., or Abby Pendleton, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128 or visit the Stark and Anti-Kickback specialty page on the HLP website.

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