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Health Law 360: Robert Wagman Looks for Truth in the False Claims Act

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On Friday, June 20, 2008, Health Law360 featured a guest column examining the Supreme Court decision in Allison Engine Co. Inc. v. United States ex rel. Sanders and the importance of presentment under the FCA.

In his article, “Allison Engine: The Presentment Issue Under the FCA,” Washington litigator Robert Wagman highlights the complexities of this decision and the future impact.  The False Claims Act protects the Government from fraudulent activity however, in recent decades this previously defined line has become blurred.  Wagman points out, “The Government funds activities through all sorts of vehicles such as contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, CRADAs and state grant-in-aid programs just to name a few.”

The matter is further compounded by the subject of presentment.  “The issue taken up by the Allison Engine Court was whether Section (a)(2) included a presentment element requiring that the false record or statement be presented to the Government.”  This claim was later overturned by the Supreme Court, who interpreted the language with a differing implication.

Wagman goes on to reveal that over three quarters of FCA actions were judgments and settlements with regard to Federal healthcare in 2007.  As a result, the impact of this landmark decision will have far reaching consequences for the billions of dollars in Federal healthcare still pending.

To read the complete article on Presentment and the FCA, click here.



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