Though administration priorities necessarily change with every presidential transition, the government’s recent intervention into an alleged ambulance services kickback scheme suggests that the DOJ’s priority of holding individuals accountable for health-care fraud will continue at least in the short term.
Just days into the Trump administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas filed its complaint in intervention against an Oklahoma agency and the president who runs it replete with accusations of millions of dollars in bribes, gifts, travel and political corruption to boot (United States ex rel. Dean v. Paramedics Plus, LLC, E.D. Tex., No. 14-cv-203, complaint in intervention 1/23/17).
Of particular note in this False Claims Act action is that the original whistle-blower didn’t name Herbert S. Williamson, president of Oklahoma’s Emergency Medical Services Authority, as a defendant. The allegations against Williamson, which are quite specific concerning his role in organizing an alleged scheme to trade millions in bribes from a Texas hospital system in exchange for an ambulance transport contract that billed Medicare and Medicaid over $100 million, originated with the government’s complaint.
My colleague James Swann talked with a number of former Department of Justice prosecutors recently who were confident that the DOJ would continue to pursue individuals who were culpable in defrauding federal health-care programs, a priority highlighted in a 2015 directive from former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates (informally known as the Yates memo). Although the investigation into Williamson personally almost certainly began prior to the 2016 election, the DOJ’s complaint showcases that this policy priority has now been inherited at least by default by the Trump administration.
Health-care attorneys will be looking at whether the pace of investigations and individual prosecutions for health-care fraud changes as the new administration assumes the responsibility of prosecuting this case, and in shepherding other ongoing investigations of individuals in U.S. attorney offices around the country.
Read more about the case in my story here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation with a free trial to the Health Law Resource Center.
Learn more about Bloomberg Law and sign up for a free trial.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)