February 05, 2020

Analyzing the First Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (EKRA) Enforcement Action and Its Application to Federal and State False Claims Statutes

By Patrick Ouellette, Esq., Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Boston, MA and Rachel V. Rose, Esq. Attorney at Law, Houston, TX

Until now, discussions around the scope of Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA) 18 U.S.C. § 220 enforcement have been strictly theoretical due to a lack of public enforcement actions. Theresa C. Merced’s guilty plea to one count of an EKRA violation on January 10, 2020 is believed to be the first of its kind and has finally shed some initial light on how regulators view the federal law. This article will focus on what this case means – and does not mean – to EKRA compliance and the broader landscape of healthcare fraud and abuse enforcement.

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