Free Health Law Webinar–Internal and Government Investigation Strategies

It’s your last chance to register for the second free webinar in Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S.’s four-part webinar series in partnership with Alston & Bird focusing on best practices for handling internal and external healthcare fraud and False Claims Act investigations.

“Internal and Government Investigation Strategies”, will discuss how companies can conduct cohesive internal investigations, what the government expects organizations to do and the investigative techniques that the government uses. To register, visit the link below:
Internal and Government Investigation Strategies 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 2 PM EST
Moderator: Frank Sheeder, Partner at Alston & Bird
Featured speakers: Wade Miller, Partner, and Matt Dowell, Senior Associate at Alston & Bird

For information on the full webinar series, visit http://health.wolterskluwerlb.com/2018/10/wk-announces-free-webinar-series-on-healthcare-investigations/

WK Announces Free Webinar Series on Healthcare Investigations

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. announced that registration is open for a four-part webinar series in partnership with Alston & Bird focusing on best practices for handling internal and external healthcare fraud and False Claims Act investigations. This educational activity has been submitted to HCCA and is currently pending their review for continuing education.

Each webinar in the series will feature Alston & Bird attorneys covering topics such as handling fraud, waste, and abuse issues, dealing with internal and government investigations, and managing complainants and whistleblowers. These discussions will be based on real-life scenarios that participants will receive in advance, and will offer practical, actionable approaches to the most confounding challenges. The webinars will also include a demonstration of how compliance professionals can leverage Cheetah™, Wolters Kluwer’s intuitive legal research platform, to assist in mitigating risks and issues.

“Healthcare industry stakeholders need to be aware of the potential legal and regulatory compliance risks, costs, and disruptions that can potentially arise in an organization,” said Kristen Kaplan, Sr. Health Law Product Manager for Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “This webinar series will offer practical and actionable approaches to mitigating these issues.”

“Healthcare organizations face a challenging legal, regulatory, and enforcement environment,” said Frank Sheeder, Partner at Alston & Bird and Co-Chair of its Healthcare Litigation Team.  “We are pleased to partner with Wolters Kluwer on this webinar series to share our experiences and help their in-house counsel, compliance professionals, and reimbursement teams to better serve their organizations.”

The first webinar in the series, “Steps to Take When a Fraud, Waste, or Abuse Issue Is Discovered”, will cover the essential elements of a comprehensive investigation plan that prudent organizations should develop as a first step when fraud, waste, or abuse is discovered. To register, visit the link below:
Steps to Take When a Fraud, Waste or Abuse Issue is Discovered
Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 3 PM EST
Moderator: Frank Sheeder, Partner at Alston & Bird
Featured speakers: Jason Popp, Partner, and Brad Smyer, Senior Associate at Alston & Bird

The second webinar, “Internal and Government Investigation Strategies”, will discuss how companies can conduct cohesive internal investigations, what the government expects organizations to do and the investigative techniques that the government uses. To register, visit the link below:
Internal and Government Investigation Strategies 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 2 PM EST
Moderator: Frank Sheeder, Partner at Alston & Bird
Featured speakers: Wade Miller, Partner, and Matt Dowell, Senior Associate at Alston & Bird

The third webinar is titled “Dealing with the Government, Complainants, and Whistleblowers”. It will explore the external and internal adversaries organizations face and participants will hear from a former United States Attorney about best practices for contending with them. To register, visit the link below:
Dealing with the Government, Complainants, and Whistleblowers 
Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 2 PM EST
Moderator: Frank Sheeder, Partner at Alston & Bird
Featured speakers: Former US Attorney Thomas Walker and Meredith Kingsley, Partners at Alston & Bird

“Lessons Learned That We Hope Not to See Repeated” will discuss some of the most notorious investigation failures that have occurred in healthcare organizations, and the speakers will offer advice on how to avoid pitfalls. To register, visit the link below:
Lessons Learned that We Hope Not to See Repeated 
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 2 PM EST
Featured speakers: Frank Sheeder and Mitch Mitchelson, Partners at Alston & Bird

About Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird is a leading national and international law firm. The firm’s core practice areas are complex litigation, corporate, intellectual property and tax, with national industry practices that include healthcare, life sciences, financial services, technology, manufacturing, and energy. The firm has built a reputation as one of the country’s best employers, appearing on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 19 consecutive years, an unprecedented accomplishment among law firms in the United States. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Beijing, Brussels, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C.

For more information about Alston & Bird, visit www.alston.com, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information, software solutions and services for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2017 annual revenues of €4.4 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

For more information about Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., visit www.WoltersKluwerLR.com, follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Timing key for internal audits, self-disclosure

There is an art to conducting internal compliance audits and determining when to begin a self-disclosure protocol—the ideal compliance program should promote prevention, detection, and resolution of any conduct that fails to comply with the requirements of state and federal health care programs. Knowing when to perform an internal investigation or audit to encourage a healthy program is key, according to Leia C. Olsen, shareholder, Hall Render, who was presenting at a Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) webinar.

Olsen noted that many qui tam actions arise when employees do not feel as though their concerns are being heard and taken seriously. She stressed the importance of having a mechanism for reporting incidents, and timely monitoring identified issues and implementing remedial measures. However, she noted that qui tam suits can potentially be prevented not only by conducting an internal investigation, but also by self-disclosing, which can trigger the public disclosure bar. Self-disclosure of identified wrongdoing is encouraged by the Department of Justice and HHS, but, per the Yates memorandum, all relevant facts must be provided by a company before it can receive credit for cooperating and voluntary self-disclosure. Therefore, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation, collecting all available information and documentation, before self-disclosing.

The 60-day refund rule, promulgated under Sec. 6402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), together with the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) (P.L. 111-21), creates False Claims Act (FCA) liability for providers who fail to report and return identified overpayments within 60 days of identifying the overpayment. Therefore, Olsen said, the time to meet the reasonable diligence standard after learning of a potential overpayment is limited. Having a protocol in place to quickly decide whether to self-disclose is critical in securing the greatest amount of cooperation credit.

Atlanta pain clinic feels financial hurt after allegedly bending Medicare rules

Atlanta Medical Clinic (AMC) and its owner agreed to pay $250,000 to settle False Claims Act (FCA) (31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq.) allegations that the clinic billed Medicare for services performed by a suspended physician and for administering drugs that were not approved by the FDA.

Suspended physician

An AMC physician was suspended from the Medicare program in June 2013 for making false statements regarding his criminal history. Despite the suspension, AMC allegedly continued to claim and receive payment for medical services rendered by the physician. Because of the suspension, none of those services were eligible for Medicare reimbursement and, therefore, reimbursement claims related to those services constituted false claims. AMC allegedly circumvented the suspension by submitting claims for services performed by the physician as though they were performed by another physician.

Unapproved drugs

AMC also, allegedly, violated the FCA by seeking and obtaining reimbursement for a Canadian, non-FDA approved knee treatment drug—Orthovisc®. The alleged claims are false because Medicare does not cover the cost of foreign, non-FDA approved treatments.