Two healthcare cases announced during the first week of April, 2013, vividly illustrate the uncertainty of how much a violation of applicable healthcare statutes or regulations might cost a provider.
On March 26, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Special Fraud Alert advising that the OIG considers physician-owned distributorships (“PODs”) as “inherently suspect” under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. In the strongly worded guidance, the OIG defines PODs as physician-owned entities that sell or arrange for the sale of implantable medical devices … Continue Reading
In 2009, the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (“HEAT”) initiative was formed as a joint effort between the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, and combating health care fraud continues to be a major focus of federal and state authorities. The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) publishes a list of the criminal and civil enforcement … Continue Reading
In January, a Federal District Court in Oklahoma issued a ruling in favor of a former marketing representative of a medical equipment distributor. The Court determined that Gary Weaver was, in fact, engaged on an independent contractor basis, not as an employee, and therefore his employment agreement with Joint Technology, Inc. was an unenforceable illegal contract under the Federal Anti-Kickback… Continue Reading
Historically, federal and state regulations designed to control healthcare costs have focused on preventing fraud and abuse and self-referrals. Prior to adoption of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law were probably the most frequently referenced healthcare statutes. Both of these statutes, which have been in effect for more than 20 … Continue Reading