March 21, 2019 Articles

Five Hot Topics in Health Care Litigation

Trends for white-collar practitioners and practical advice for clients.

By Richard K. Rifenbark and Melissa S. Ho

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recouped $2.9 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation, down from $3.5 billion in 2017 and nearly $5 billion in 2016. The drop in total dollars recovered may be due to the decrease in mortgage-fraud recoveries related to the 2008 financial crises and the application of United States v. Escobar, which wiped out at least two jury verdicts collectively worth more than $1 billion. It is tempting to believe that health care enforcement and litigation are no longer the focus of the DOJ; however, health care continues to generate the majority of FCA money and could increase in the areas of anti-kickback statute violations and opioid litigation.

The following are key areas that white-collar practitioners may want to consider when advising health care providers and compliance professionals as they prepare their work plans for 2019 and beyond.

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