On March 3, 2020, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) launched a National Nursing Home Initiative to “coordinate and enhance civil and criminal efforts to pursue nursing homes and long-term care facilities that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.” The DOJ’s new initiative adds to its extensive efforts to combat elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at American seniors. The initiative will start with a focus on some of the worst nursing homes and enhance all civil and criminal efforts to pursue the nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.
Finance Director for UnitedHealth Group brought qui tam suit against UnitedHealth Group, Inc. alleging that the organization upcoded risk adjustment data resulting in increased payments (more than $1.14 billion) to UnitedHealth Group. The Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened in the case, yet UnitedHealth Group was successful in getting the primary False Claims Act Claims dismissed by arguing that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would not have refused to make the adjustment payments had they known of the errors in the risk adjustment. The Escobar materiality standard helps clarify threshold level of risk to Managed Care Providers in attesting to their risk adjustment payments; the falsities must have had an impact on the respective payment.
This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) in Washington, DC. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with OIG, and I learned a great deal about health care fraud, waste, and abuse. In spending my summer with OIG, I had a glimpse into the powerful regulatory bodies that protect the health care market from abuse. As I move forward with my career in regulatory work, I will take with me the invaluable experiences and skills from my internship.
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently intervened in a qui tam action against UnitedHealth Group (“United”) and its subsidiary, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, the nation’s largest provider of Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Plans. The suit alleges that United engaged in an “up-coding” scheme to receive higher payments than they should have under MA’s risk adjustment program. Assuming these allegations of United’s false claims are true, then United billed and received hundreds of millions of dollars in improper payments from Medicare.
Fannie Fang Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2017 Traditionally, only healthcare corporations were held responsible for healthcare fraud. During an investigation, these corporations were only required to provide contextual information about the underlying factual situation in a fraud investigation. Additionally, healthcare corporations would typically enter into settlement agreements with the …
Alexander Thompson Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2018 Two former executives of American Senior Communities and two accomplices have been indicted on numerous charges by the Department of Justice. The two former executives: CEO James Burkhart and Daniel Benson were arraigned on charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to …
Kaitlin Lavin Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2017 In 2011, Vanguard Healthcare, LLC (“Vanguard”) settled a whistleblower suit for Medicare and Medicaid fraud and entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA). Now the federal government is suing Vanguard for submitting fraudulent claims for services that were “either non-existent or grossly …
Gail Jankowski Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2016 Although the DOJ reached 70 settlements involving 457 hospitals in 43 states for more than $250 million related to cardiac devices that were implanted in Medicare patients which violated coverage requirements, they were not done yet. Another batch of 51 hospitals settled …