The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Pub. L. No. 114-328 (Dec. 23, 2016), introduces major changes to the Defense Department healthcare program known as TRICARE. By this time next year, we’ll see a new program to contain the cost of prescription drugs at retail pharmacies, contractual incentives for improving the quality of healthcare and
Brian is the leader of the Government Contracts practice group at Husch Blackwell LLP. Brian represents contractors in federal, state, and local bid protests, contract administration and compliance matters, and in litigation involving complex claims and disputes.
The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7 (U.S. June 16, 2016) upholds the viability of the implied certification theory of False Claims Act liability. But it also makes cases arising from minor instances of noncompliance much harder to prove. The Court held that a knowing failure to disclose a violation of a material statutory, regulatory, or contractual requirement can create False Claims Act liability. The requirement need not be an express condition of payment, but it must be material to the government’s decision to pay.
Continue Reading New standard of proof for implied certification liability under FCA
In some courts in the United States today, a government contractor or a healthcare provider seeking reimbursement from a federal program can violate the False Claims Act even when its work is satisfactory and its invoices are correct. Under the theory of “implied certification,” a minor instance of non-compliance with one of the thousands of applicable statutes, regulations, and contract provisions can be the basis for a federal investigation, years of litigation, as well as fines, penalties, suspension and debarment, even imprisonment of company personnel.
Continue Reading How the Supreme Court will limit False Claims Act liability for implied certification
On April 1, 2014, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs agreed to the dismissal of its December 2008 complaint against Florida Hospital of Orlando. This action follows DOL’s March 11, 2014 agreement to a five-year moratorium on compliance and enforcement actions against Tricare service providers. These developments reflect a significant rollback of OFCCP’s prior position as to the scope of its jurisdiction. In his March 11, 2014 letter to Congress, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez recognizes that Congress had intended to limit OFCCP’s jurisdictional authority over Tricare healthcare providers.
Continue Reading OFCCP’s five-year moratorium on enforcement actions against Tricare providers