Hospice 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 3-part 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.
Today's Episode: Successful Approaches to Government Investigations
In this second episode of the Husch Blackwell Hospice Team’s three-part “Hospice and the False Claims Act” series, Meg Pekarske, Bryan Nowicki, Jody Rudman and Brian Flood discuss the precursor to almost every False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit—the government investigation. Before an FCA case proceeds in court, the government typically conducts a thorough investigation. FCA cases can be won or lost at this stage, and how hospices respond to such investigations can set the stage for future success (if done properly) or future problems and liability (if mishandled).
The Hospice Team discusses the ways in which the government investigates hospices in the FCA context and provides tips for a successful response to an investigation.