Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a federal appeals court ruling in a closely watched case over whether a defendant can be held liable under the False Claims Act for “causing” health care providers to submit Anti-kickback Statute-violative Medicare claims (Blackstone Medical Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hutcheson, U.S., No. 11-269, review denied 12/5/11). The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case lets stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in United States ex rel. Hutcheson v. Blackstone Medical Inc. (1st Cir., 647 F.3d 377 (2011), which correctly held that entities that pay kickbacks are liable under the False Claims Act for the resulting false claims.
Certainly, this sends another powerful message to wayward drug and medical device companies that they cannot bribe their way into the medicine cabinets of Medicare beneficiaries.
For more information about qui tam law and Medicare fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, P.A.