Husch Blackwell’s False Claims Act team previously covered the results of a rare False Claims Act (FCA) trial in which a federal jury found that a surgical product distributor was liable for paying kickbacks to physicians. The federal judge overseeing that trial initially entered judgment against the distributor defendants for $487 million after trebling the government’s actual damages and then adding penalties for each kickback-tainted claim.

On February 8, 2024, however, that same federal judge amended the judgment over concerns that the statutory penalties were unconstitutionally excessive. This article highlights the issue and explains what those accused of violating the FCA can learn from this decision.Continue Reading Federal Court Reduces FCA Penalties by 82 Percent Because of Excessive Fines Clause Concerns

Wyoming physicians are sometimes confronted with the awkward and difficult choice of whether to bring a colleague’s potentially unprofessional, unethical, or harmful conduct to light by making a report to a hospital’s peer review committee, or even the Wyoming Board of Medicine in some circumstances. However, physicians are often unsure whether such a report is justified, and whether it is ethically or legally required. Whether a report is justified or ethically required in any particular situation is beyond the scope of this article–however, we can shed light on whether it is required by Wyoming law.Continue Reading A Higher Power: Physician obligations to report another physician’s conduct under Wyoming law

The Supreme Court issued a number of headline-grabbing decisions this term on topics like religious accommodation, LGBTQ protections, and consideration of race in college admissions. These decisions are wide-reaching and impact individuals, employers, and higher education institutions. Though not nearly as wide-reaching, the Supreme Court also issued two important decisions this year dealing with the False Claims Act (FCA) that could have dramatic impact nonetheless for those ensnared in an FCA action.Continue Reading False Claims Act Update: A Mid-Year Review (2023)

Following two weeks of trial testimony, a Travis County jury recently rendered a $10 million verdict in a novel corporate practice of medicine (CPOM) case. The jury found in favor of a physician hospitalist group that claimed a management company repeatedly broke its promise to comply with the state’s CPOM prohibition, putting profits over patients, among other wrongdoings.Continue Reading Texas Jury Renders $10 Million Verdict in Novel Corporate Practice of Medicine Case

Each July, the Medicare Administrative Contractors issue notices of a 2% Medicare payment reduction to those providers who did not meet quality data reporting requirements. Those notices have been sent. In this episode, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske and Jacob Harris talk about the issues providers faced in 2021 and how to pursue an appeal of

As the health care industry shifts from fee-for-service to value-based arrangements, providers are facing a lot of challenges. A provider’s relationship with payers is often strained by the new business model, and a provider’s ability to collaborate with payers has never been more important.

On this episode of Value-Based Care Insights, host Daniel J. Marino

The American Health Law Association released its Special Edition of its Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law on Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the United State: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives. The association strives to advance public discourse on these issues for the benefit of AHLA members, the public, academia, and decision makers in both the legislative and executive branches of government.
Continue Reading American Health Law Association New Publication on Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the U.S.: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives

Throughout the COVID pandemic, healthcare employers have navigated the challenge of balancing safety concerns with employee requests for religious exemption from the vaccine.  Since lifting the stay of the CMS rule requiring certain healthcare workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the US Supreme Court (Court) has refused to enjoin state and city vaccine mandates for workers who seek religious exemptions from such mandates. On March 7, 2022, the full Court rejected, without comment, an emergency application for an injunction that was previously denied by Justice Sotomayor to prevent enforcement of the New York City Department of Education’s COVID-19 mandate against suspended workers who refused vaccination based on religion.  In the wake of continued challenges to vaccine mandates based on religion, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), released guidance on March  1, 2022 that addresses questions related to religious objections to vaccinations in the workplace. Healthcare employers should ensure that assessment of requests for religious exemptions for vaccine mandates comports with EEOC guidance.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues Employer Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccinations and Religious Objections