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“Becerra Brings Tougher Scrutiny on Health Fraud, Hospital Deals”

Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton provides a whistleblower attorney’s perspective in a Bloomberg Law article about the level of healthcare fraud enforcement that is expected under Xavier Becerra, the incoming Biden administration’s nominee to helm the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The DOJ and the citizen watchdogs who sound the alarm will likely have a valuable ally in Becerra at the helm of HHS, if he’s confirmed by the Senate.

“He recognizes the value of whistleblowers in supporting the government’s fraud enforcement mission,” said Erika Kelton, partner and whistleblower attorney at Phillips & Cohen LLP. She noted that Becerra has supported efforts to expand the California False Claims Act to allow whistleblowers to report alleged tax fraud.

While the FTC is the agency responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, attorneys expect Becerra will monitor transactions and look over any arrangements that threaten to impact access to affordable health care.

“He’s concerned about consumer impacts and patient impact, and anticompetitive behaviors,” Kelton said.

“Practices that result in higher prices to patients and consumers will get scrutiny, and I don’t think it’s limited to hospitals,” she said. “We’ll see it across a range of industries that are under the health-care umbrella.”

Read the entire article, “Becerra brings tougher scrutiny on health fraud, hospital deals,” on Bloomberg Law’s website.

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