COVID-19 Funds Flow to Companies Previously Accused of FCA Violations


Weekly Newsletter | July 10, 2020 | Subscribe


COVID-19 Related Fraud

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- USA Today: Hundreds of Millions of Dollars goes to COVID-19 Contractors Accused of Prior Fraud According to a USA Today investigation, hundreds of millions of dollars of non-competitive and sole-sourced awards went to vendors that have been accused of fraud through the False Claims Act. The investigation found that vendors accused of FCA violations received more than 6,100 COVID-19 orders worth more than $500 million, including $210 million given by the government with no competition.


JDSupra: DOJ's Civil Division Outlines Enforcement Priorities and Focus on COVID-19 Related Fraud The DOJ may use its dismissal authority to dismiss COVID-19 related qui tam actions based on technical mistakes with paperwork or honest misunderstandings of the rules, as well as those aimed at companies that acted in good faith to take advantage of the regulatory flexibility certain federal agencies granted during this time of crisis.


Bloomberg Law: Doctors might Run into Fraud Risk Over Telehealth after the Pandemic When the relaxed telehealth rules revert to stricter pre-pandemic standards, there will be a greater fraud liability risk for doctors billing Medicare and Medicaid for virtual patient checkups. This could lead to more False Claims Act charges if the government ends the telehealth waiver that allows doctors to collect Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for treating patients regardless of location.


JDSupra: Telemedicine Fraud during COVID-19 During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has expanded and become increasingly more popular. The article discusses the potential liability for telehealth services under the False Claims Act.


Case Settlements & Opinions

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Dept. of Justice: Oklahoma City Hospital, Management Group, and Physician Group to Pay $77.2 Million to Settle Federal and State False Claim Allegations Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery (OCOM), Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC (SOS), an Oklahoma City-based physician group, and two SOS physicians will pay $77.2 million to resolve resolve FCA allegations and the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act of improper relationships between OCOM and SOS, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs.


NBC News: It was his dream job. He never thought he'd be bribing doctors and wearing a wire for the feds "I felt like you needed to take drastic action to turn this system upside down and make it more legit. The whole system needed to be blown up and pieced together in a fair way -- fair for taxpayers and good for patients," said Oswald "Ozzie" Bilotta

Bloomberg Law: Medicare Whistleblower's $2 Million Deal Backed by 11th Circuit A whistleblower's $2 million settlement to resolve a False Claims Act suit with Sand Lake Cancer Center in Florida over Medicare and Medicaid fraud claims is an enforceable contract, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Monday.


National Law Review: Supreme Court Upholds SEC Penalty, but Tasks Ninth Circuit with Defining Wrongful "Profits" "Time will tell how the Supreme Court’s decision in Liu will impact the SEC’s decision to sanction and use disgorgement as a sanctioning tool. Further, the Ninth Circuit’s decision on remand will set a significant precedent for how profits shall be defined under §78u(d)(5)’s provision for equitable relief."


Modern Healthcare: Florida Oncology Group will Repay Dept. of Veteran Affairs $2.3 Million An oncology group in Florida agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle the federal government’s claim that the Department of Veteran Affairs overpaid for drugs. After an investigation into a whistleblower’s tip, the VA’s Office of Inspector General determined that the VA had been paying its full billed amount for physician-administered drugs instead of the lower Medicare rate.


Business Observer: Hope Hospice Agrees to Pay $3.2 Million in False Claims Case Hope Hospice, one of the largest end-of-life care facilities in the Fort Myers region, agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve a federal false Medicare claims case. The allegations stated that Hope Hospice knowingly submitted false claims to Medicaid and TRICARE for care it provided to beneficiaries who were not terminally ill and not qualified for service.



















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© Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund 2020