March 21, 2022

Let's Talk Legal

What happens if the worst-case scenario transpires, and your facility is sued under The False Claims Act?

Attorney Jana Volante Walshak, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, walks us through this taboo subject and explains how such a situation can be addressed and prevented.

Jana has represented many healthcare clients and serves as the outside general counsel for a large healthcare entity. 

The False Claims Act was created to address fraud being perpetrated against the government. To free up government time and resources, private individuals referred to as relators were permitted to bring those suits. 

Relators have to be an original source with inside information. In healthcare-related cases, they are often disgruntled, former employees or family members. 

Jana has handled many false claims cases and asserts that the most important first step in making sure that a facility is aware and compliant with the regulations under the False Claims Act is to install a Comprehensive Corporate Compliance Program.

This type of program can be drawn up by a lawyer and details all the regulations that a particular facility will need to follow and what they can do to follow them to avoid causing claims to be made against them.

Common claims in a healthcare setting often involve billing for services that weren’t provided or are insufficient. 

If an operator or administrator catches wind of this, they should investigate immediately and if a violation is found make a voluntary disclosure to the government and pay any difference that might be owed. 

In a worse scenario, the government will find out about the violation first and send a Civil Investigative Demand requesting the production of certain documents or an inner view of an employee. 

In this situation, the facility should act fast to hire experienced counsel and contact the government to negotiate a settlement rather than being taken to court. 

Fox Rothchild has offices all over the country and can provide all sorts of services to healthcare facilities in the areas of corporate employment, real estate, compliance services for if a facility is involved in litigation or receives a subpoena or Civil Investigative Demand.  






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