John W. Petrelli

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Courts’ Consistent Application of Stevens to State Institutions of Higher Learning

The United States Supreme Court recently declined review of the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the University of Massachusetts Medical School was an “arm of the state,” and thus, not subject to the federal False Claims Act (FCA).  U.S. ex rel. Willette v. University of Massachusetts, Worchester, No. 15-1437 (2017).  In declining review, … Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Escobars: Federal Courts Begin Grappling with Opposing Views of “Materiality”

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated opinion in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, which for the first time expressly recognized implied certification as a viable theory under the federal False Claims Act (FCA). Implied certification is a theory that has been widely criticized by government contractors … Continue Reading

No Longer Implied: Supreme Court Expressly Recognizes Implied Certification as a Theory of Liability Under the False Claims Act

Court Rejects the First Circuit’s “Expansive View” of the Theory by Articulating “Rigorous” Standards of Materiality Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-anticipated decision on the viability of the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). In Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, a unanimous Court … Continue Reading

Escobar Oral Arguments: Justices Imply Outcome – False Claims Act Implied Certification May Survive

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in the case of Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, which is set to decide the viability of implied certification under the FCA. As discussed in our last update on the Escobar case, implied certification is a judicially-created theory under the FCA that establishes liability for a … Continue Reading

Implied Certification and the FCA: Legally False or a False Legality? The Supreme Court Is Set to Decide

The United States Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in the case of Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, which places implied certification under the False Claims Act (FCA) squarely in the judicial crosshairs. Implied certification is a frustrating theory of liability for providers and contractors that receive government reimbursement, due to … Continue Reading

Texas Surgical Centers: Aetna Improperly Denies or Underpays Out-of-Network Claim

Aetna is now facing another set of claims calling into question its determination and payment methodology for out-of-network reimbursement. On September 4, 2015, six surgical centers in Texas (Allied Center for Special Surgery) filed suit in Harris County District Court against Aetna Health Inc. and Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna), claiming that Aetna underpaid or … Continue Reading

Texas Hospital Strikes Back at Aetna

On February 23, 2015, Aetna filed suit in Texas federal court against Robert A. Behar, M.D. and North Cypress Medical Center (North Cypress), alleging that Dr. Behar, the CEO of North Cypress, offered impermissible ownership stakes in the 139-bed community hospital in exchange for patient referrals and designed an out-of-network business strategy that gave rise … Continue Reading

Kane and the “60-Day Rule”: The Unforgiving World of Medicare and Medicaid Overpayments

The Southern District of New York has spoken on one of the first issues to confront those seeking compliance with the new “60-day rule” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it does not bode well for defendant hospitals and providers. On August 3, 2015, the district court in Kane v. Healthfirst, Inc., issued its … Continue Reading

Aetna Out of Patience With Hospital’s Alleged Out-of-Network Billing Scheme

Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna) is going on the offensive against a Northwest Houston hospital with an out-of-network strategy. On February 23, 2015, Aetna filed suit in Texas federal court against Robert A. Behar, M.D. and North Cypress Medical Center (North Cypress), alleging that Dr. Behar, the CEO of North Cypress, offered impermissible ownership stakes … Continue Reading
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