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Healthcare Fraud

What is Cost Report Fraud?

Cost report fraud occurs when nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare providers for patient care falsely submit claims to the government for reimbursement. Medicare Part A healthcare providers that are paid under the fee-for-service based system can abuse federal government funding by: Inflating their patient care costs; Seeking reimbursement from the government for costs [...]

What is Phantom Billing?

Medicare fraud broadly refers to any individual, company or corporation who acts intentionally to steal money from the federal government. “Phantom billing” is a specific kind of Medicare fraud, as well as the most common. Phantom billing occurs when healthcare providers submit claims for reimbursement to the government for services or procedures they did [...]

What is Best Price Fraud?

“Best Price” is a term used in connection with Medicaid reimbursement for brand name prescription drugs. Essentially, a drug manufacturer is required to charge Medicaid no more than whatever its best (lowest) price is to a non-government (or commercial) payor. Because Medicaid does not buy drugs outright and furnish them to patients, the government [...]

Objective Falsity Requirement Under the False Claims Act

Can a False Claims Act case go forward where the only evidence of whether the services at issue were medically necessary are two competing and opposing medical opinions? In a prior blog, we discussed recent holdings in AseraCare I, AseraCare II and Vista Hospice[1].  The main issue addressed in those cases was whether a [...]

Differences in Medical Opinion Under the False Claims Act

Courts have recently grappled with the issue of whether a Relator can maintain a case under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) where she retains an expert that says the medical services provided were not medically necessary and the defendant’s medical service provider or its retained expert says the exact opposite – that the service [...]

What is a Kickback Scheme?

Quite simply, a kickback is an inducement – offering or giving something of value in exchange for getting business referrals. Although that type of behavior can be perfectly legal in some segments of the commercial world, it is not permitted when the business that is being referred is paid for by government healthcare programs. [...]

What are Medically Unnecessary Services?

Medical necessity has implications for good, safe patient care and for reimbursement or payment decisions. Although an unnecessary treatment is not always dangerous, it could be used in place of a more appropriate treatment. It could also have side effects or risks that are not justified when the treatment is not necessary in the [...]

Common Types of Pharmaceutical Fraud

Pharmacy fraud can take many forms, some of which can be very costly to taxpayers when the pharmaceuticals involved are paid for by government-funded health programs like Medicare or Medicaid. Some of the most common types of pharmacy fraud include: auto-refilling fraud, off-label marketing of drugs, average manufacturer price/best price fraud, drug switching, pharmaceutical [...]

What are Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors?

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) imposes penalties on anyone who, knowingly or willfully, offers, pays, solicits, or accepts remuneration in exchange for referrals or payments for goods or services reimbursable under a federal healthcare program.[i] Congress enacted the AKS in 1972, and its primary purpose is “to protect patients and the federal health care [...]

Upcoding Medical Billing

When a provider treats a Medicare patient, the provider must tell Medicare what services were provided so that Medicare can reimburse the doctor the correct amount. Certain services have higher reimbursement amounts than others –a more serious condition will generally be more expensive for the provider to treat and thus, the provider receives additional [...]

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