Articles and Blogs


Ninth Circuit Shuts Down “Objective Falsehood” Pleading Requirement Under the FCA


Posted on April 2, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

An accepted doctrine of FCA pleading requires whistleblowers or the Government to assert an “objective falsehood” in their complaints. Last week, the Ninth Circuit nixed the requirement. The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal tied to a failure to plead an objective falsehood under FCA. The Court held that whistleblowers or the Government... READ MORE

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One Is Not Enough: Court Clarifies Whistleblower’s Burden in High Volume FCA Action


Posted on March 25, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

The Southern District of Indiana recently held that a whistleblower must present sufficient evidence to support each alleged false claim, not just one, to survive summary judgment.[1] This holding is a win for FCA defendants that deal in a high volume of claims submitted to the government—like hospitals—and requires whistleblowers to identify every claim... READ MORE

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Piggybacked FCA Complaint


Posted on March 24, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit in Vierczhalek v. MedImmune, Inc.[1] affirmed the dismissal of a relator’s amended complaint, finding she was not an “original source” of new allegations that piggybacked on a public disclosure. Facts of the Case Relator Susan Vierczhalek, M.D., filed a qui tam action in 2009 alleging that drug manufacturer... READ MORE

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Third Circuit Emphasizes Distinction Between Falsity and Scienter in FCA Cases


Posted on March 5, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

In a matter of first impression, the Third Circuit yesterday held that conflicting medical opinions can create a genuine dispute of material fact as to the element of falsity in a False Claims Act action.[1] Facts of the Case In U.S. v. Care Alternatives, relators alleged that Care Alternatives, a hospice facility, “admitted patients... READ MORE

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Previously Settled FCA Case Resurrected by New “Original Source” Relator


Posted on February 25, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued an opinion creating a national divide on when a relator is an “original source” of an FCA claim, finding that a relator’s secondhand knowledge of fraud was “direct” knowledge. Facts of the Case In United States ex rel. Banigan v. PharMerica, Inc.[1], a... READ MORE

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DOJ’S 2019 False Claims Act Recoveries Total More Than $3 Billion


Posted on January 15, 2020 in Compliance, Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

On January 9, 2020, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it collected over $3 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) in the federal fiscal year 2019. The FCA has historically been the government’s primary tool for combatting perceived fraud, waste and abuse in the health care system, and... READ MORE

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Federal Court Reinforces Government’s Right to Dismiss FCA Actions over Whistleblower Objection


Posted on October 3, 2019 in Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

The Eastern District of Texas affirmed the Government’s right to dismiss FCA actions over a whistleblower’s objections. The Court held that the Government may dismiss claims to avoid the costs of extended litigation. The United States Declined to Intervene Health Choice Alliance, LLC filed an FCA action alleging that the defendants defrauded the United... READ MORE

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A New Option for Grant Noncompliance: OIG Releases Grantee Self-Disclosure Program


Posted on August 16, 2019 in Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

On July 11, 2019, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released the new Grant Self-Disclosure Program Guidance (“Grant Guidance”) for HHS grant recipients and subrecipients. Through the Grant Guidance, OIG provides new self-reporting options for HHS grant recipients and subrecipients who determine that they... READ MORE

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Defendants Successful in FCA Action Alleging Donuts for Referrals


Posted on August 6, 2019 in Compliance, Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

Last week, a federal district court in Illinois entered judgment for Defendants in an FCA action against a self-proclaimed “one stop shop” health care referral management company, alleging anti-kickback and FCA violations for its arrangement with a care coordination organization for low-income seniors.[1] Originally filed in 2016, this case highlights how even an FCA... READ MORE

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E.D. Wisconsin: Boilerplate Defenses Insufficient; Challenges Wasteful


Posted on July 31, 2019 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

Litigators and litigants should always be wary of templates, unconsidered boilerplate pleadings—and unnecessary motion practice. Last week, a federal court in Wisconsin struck boilerplate affirmative defenses that lacked “short and plain statement of the facts and…the necessary elements of the defenses.”[1] The ruling reinforced the Seventh Circuit’s standards for affirmative defenses—even though the judge... READ MORE

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