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Keeping you afloat amidst the rising sea of regulations

Two California Nursing Homes Accused of Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

On August 29, 2014, the United States Department of Justice filed an action against two nursing homes located in Watsonville, California for defrauding the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Privacy Breaches: Not Just About Health Information

Our colleagues who represent retailers, technology, and media companies recently wrote that high profile data breaches have resulted in legislative and commercial industry initiatives to better protect consumers’ financial information from data theft.We want to note that those in the health care industry need to pay attention to these developments as well. To read our colleagues’ article, click here.

Anti-SLAPP Litigation in the Healthcare Industry Merits Careful Consideration

* The following alert was originally published in California Healthcare News (CHN). To read it on the CHN website, click here.

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Patient Rights Claims in Elder Abuse Cases

* The following alert was originally published in California Healthcare News (CHN). To read it on the CHN website, click here.

No Harm, No Foul: California Court Denies Class Action Bid Seeking $4 Billion from Provider

On July 22, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, found that patients whose confidential health information had been stolen could not sustain a class action absent an allegation that the information was actually viewed by unauthorized third parties.

OIG Issues Favorable Advisory Opinion to Pharmaceutical Manufacturer on Direct-to-Patient Discount Sales Program

On July 28, 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable opinion concerning a drug manufacturer’s program to offer a certain branded drug via an online, mail order pharmacy directly to cash-paying customers at a discounted price.

Amendments to Reform ‘Burdensome’ Medicare Regulations Now Effective

On July 11, 2014, amendments designed to reform Medicare regulations that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has identified as “unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on health care providers and suppliers” became effective.

DC Circuit Provides Guidance on Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege in an Internal Investigation

The DC Circuit recently held that the attorney-client privilege applies to internal investigations, even when the investigations are mandated by law and are not conducted with the sole purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice.

The DOJ Intervenes in ‘Reverse False Claims Act’ Case

Government Steps in After Hospital System’s Alleged Failure to Promptly Return Medicaid OverpaymentsOn June 27, 2014, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened in a False Claims Act suit against Continuum Health Partners and the Mount Sinai Health System, alleging that the health system failed to return hundreds of thousands of dollars of overpayments to the government in a timely manner. This is one of the first “reverse False Claims Act” cases where the DOJ has filed a complaint-in-intervention claiming a health care provider violated 31 U.S.C.

US Supreme Court Grants Cert in Closely Watched False Claims Act Case

The US Supreme Court this morning granted cert in a closely watched False Claims Act (FCA) case, Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter — a case that raises important questions about wartime suspension of the FCA’s statute of limitations, and about how the FCA’s “first-to-file bar” operates.