The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a southern hospital system, Piedmont Healthcare, Inc., had agreed to pay $16 million to settle allegations of wrongdoing. Both parties intend the settlement to resolve two separate legal claims.
The country is in the midst of an opioid crisis. The government has come down hard on those connected with the over-prescription of these highly addictive medications to help hold those who played a role in the crisis accountable and deter similar errors in the future. As a result, the government has filed thousands of lawsuits against medical professionals, drug companies and pharmacies based on allegations of criminal wrongdoing connected to the prescription of opioids that include Anti-Kickback (AKS) violations.
The government recently accused the founder of a pharmaceutical company for illegally conspiring to provide kickbacks to physicians who prescribe the company's medications. The accusations led to the arrest of the entrepreneur. The government based the arrest on evidence the entrepreneur conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. If convicted, the crime can come with up to five years imprisonment and a monetary fine of $25,000.
Another doctor has been convicted for playing a part in a multi-million-dollar Medicare fraud scheme. The guilty verdict shows that even being "extremely naïve" is not a valid defense to Medicaid fraud charges.
If you work in the health care industry, then you are probably familiar with the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which is a federal regulation that prohibits the exchange (or offer of exchange) of any type of gift or payment in an effort to reward or induce referrals for federal health care program business.