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Expect Aggressive Enforcement of Stark and AKS to Continue

Phillips & Cohen attorney Molly Knobler analyzes DOJ’s recent Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statue enforcement actions in an article for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics’ Compliance & Ethics Blog.

Despite significant regulatory changes and a raging pandemic, the Department of Justice (DOJ) achieved an impressive $900+ million in civil False Claims Act settlements and judgments in cases based on alleged violations of the Physician Self-Referral Law (commonly known as the Stark Law) and the Anti-Kickback Statute in 2021.

Notably, most of the Stark and kickback cases tied to the False Claims Act that were resolved last year were initiated by whistleblowers who filed “qui tam” lawsuits—incentivized to report wrongdoing by the False Claims Act’s rewards of 15% to 30% of the recoveries and protection from job retaliation. Whistleblowers who file qui tam cases amplify the government’s enforcement efforts by alerting the government to violations and providing inside information, evidence, and experienced counsel to assist DOJ prosecutors.

As healthcare continues to be top of mind with the continuing pandemic, we can expect DOJ – with the help of whistleblowers – to continue to prioritize enforcement against providers who put their bank accounts above patient needs and fraudulently drain funds from government programs.

Read the entire article, “Lessons from 2021: Expect Aggressive Enforcement of Stark and AKS to Continue,” on SCCE’s website.

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