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Eighth Circuit Rejects FCA Claim for Failure to Allege Actual Claims for Payment

On February 11, 2019, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a group of relators’ qui tam suit against Crawford County Memorial Hospital for failure to meet the pleading standards required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). The court’s decision focused on the relators’ failure to allege the specifics of any actual claim for payment by Crawford County – a solid confirmation that the Eighth Circuit continues to require the pleading of identifiable false claims for payment, even in instances in which a relator is not in a position to have that information. The three relators were a former EMT and two former paramedics at Crawford County. The relators alleged that Crawford County violated the FCA by submitting, among other things, claims for breathing treatments administered to patients by paramedics, claims for lab services performed by paramedics and EMTs, and claims with false credentials of service providers. The relators further stated that...

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False Claims Act Settlement with eClinicalWorks Raises Questions for Electronic Health Record Software Vendors

On May 31, 2017, the US Department of Justice announced a Settlement Agreement under which eClinicalWorks, a vendor of electronic health record software, agreed to pay $155 million and enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement to resolve allegations that it caused its customers to submit false claims for Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use payments in violation of the False Claims Act. Read the full article.

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Court Revives “Fraudulent Inducement” FCA Case despite Relators’ Failure to Link False Statement to Government Payment

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a for-profit college in United States ex rel. Miller v. Weston Educational, Inc. on April 29. The court revived the case despite the relator’s inability to connect an amount paid by the government to any false statement by the college. The case involved the so-called “fraudulent inducement” theory of False Claims Act (FCA) liability. The defendant, Heritage College, was alleged by the relators to have manipulated the grade and attendance records of some students so that the students would remain eligible for federal loans, scholarships and grants under Title IV. As a result of this falsification of records, the relators alleged, the college had impermissibly received and retained federal funds. The relators alleged fraudulent inducement under the FCA on the basis that Heritage’s Program Participation Agreement (PPA) with the Department...

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