Corporate Compliance

Supreme Court hears argument on scope of False Claims Act

Compliance Monitor, February 12, 2008

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and the Solicitor General are among those weighing in on a Supreme Court case that could impact future False Claims Act cases involving Medicare and Medicare.

The case, Allison Engine v. US ex rel. Sanders, centers on whether False Claims Act suits can address fraud between private parties where the claim was paid using government money, but was not directly submitted to the government.

The petitioners argue a valid false claim allegation must show a claim was presented directly to the U.S. government. The Ohio District Court agreed and found in favor of Allison Engine, but the U.S. Appeals Court for the 6th Circuit reversed that decision.

Both Grassley and the Solicitor General filed briefs in support of the 6th Circuit decision. Other groups, including the American Hospital Association, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living filed briefs supporting the lower court ruling.

The case is scheduled for oral arguments later this month.

Click here to read Grassley's amicus brief and click here to read the Solicitor General's amicus brief.

With an effective compliance plan in place and diligent staff aware of the False Claims Act's requirements, your facility will have a stronger line of defense that can protect against FCA liability. "The Healthcare Compliance Professional's Guide to the False Claims Act" provides strategies to train employees to recognize their roles and responsibilities, and gain additional insight through case studies that demonstrate what the government has done to invoke the FCA to prosecute providers. Click here to find out more and order your copy.

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