Recently, the Seventh Circuit partially reversed a district court’s dismissal of a qui tam complaint alleging that debt collection agencies and their client hospital are liable under the FCA for the agencies’ knowing failing to comply with Medicare’s “bad debt” collection requirements. See United States ex rel. Sibley v. University of Chicago Medical Center, No. 21-2610 (7th Cir. Aug. 11, 2022). In reaching this decision, the court concluded that the relators had adequately pled that reasonable collection efforts are material to the government’s decision to reimburse Medicare bad debts.
On May 31, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby, making it the third False Claims Act (FCA) case the Supreme Court has taken up in the last two terms. The issue to be decided by the Court is “[w]hat standard governs the decision whether to dismiss a relator’s claim for violation of the FCA’s seal requirement, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2)?”
Sidley has launched a dedicated area on LinkedIn focused on FCA Enforcement and Litigation. Posts from this blog, as well as other content will be available on this page. To follow us on LinkedIn, simply visit the Sidley FCA Enforcement and Litigation showcase page here and click the yellow “Follow” button.
James Cole has joined Sidley’s White Collar: Government Litigation & Investigations practice as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office. Jim comes to Sidley from the Department of Justice, where he served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He will focus his practice on the full range of federal enforcement and internal investigation matters, with an emphasis on cross-border and multi-jurisdictional matters.
The press release announcing his arrival is attached here.
Sidley is pleased to welcome Jack W. Pirozzolo, former First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, as a partner in Sidley’s Boston office and member of the firm’s White Collar: Government Litigation & Investigations practice. Prior to joining Sidley, Mr. Pirozzolo served for more than 10 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, first as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and then, since late 2009, as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney. As First Assistant, Mr. Pirozzolo was a principal litigator for the United States in the District of Massachusetts overseeing hundreds of criminal and civil matters handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including matters of national and international significance, such as the investigation, apprehension and still ongoing prosecution of the Boston Marathon Bombing defendant, Djokhar Tsarnaev; the apprehension and prosecution of James J. “Whitey” Bulger; and the largest healthcare fraud resolution in U.S. history. While First Assistant, Mr. Pirozzolo also directly prosecuted various matters involving white collar offenses. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Comment Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, graduated with honors and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also clerked for Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch on the United States Court of Appeals for First Circuit and Judge Edward R. Becker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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On April 17, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released an Updated Provider Self-Disclosure Protocol (“SDP”). The SDP provides a process for all healthcare providers and suppliers, including manufacturers, subject to OIG’s Civil Monetary Penalties (“CMP”) authority to voluntarily identify, disclose, and resolve liability for potential misconduct, including under the False Claims Act. The SDP provides specific guidance on SDP requirements. Of note, the SDP articulates OIG’s new policies that the damages calculation will start at 1.5 times single damages and that those who self-disclose will presumptively not be subject to the imposition of a corporate integrity agreement.
Since 1986, more than $20 billion has been reportedly recovered as a result of lawsuits under the False Claims Act (FCA) and related state statutes aimed at combating fraud against the government. Such claims are often brought as qui tam lawsuits, which permit private parties to file suits on behalf of—and to retain a portion of any monies determined to be owed to—the government. Although FCA recoveries historically have been attributable in large part to cases involving allegations of fraud in connection with government healthcare programs and government procurement, a new trend is emerging. Increasingly, compliance lapses involving a variety of international trade rules are serving as the basis for FCA suits. Compliance officers should take steps to protect companies against this growing area of potential liability for international trade activities.