U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes FCA Liability for Implied False Certification
From - National Intelligence Report While the long awaited release of the PAMA rule has received a lot of attention, a significant False Claims Act (FCA) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court was also… . . . read more
By Kelly A. Briganti, Editorial Director, G2 Intelligence
While the long awaited release of the PAMA rule has received a lot of attention, a significant False Claims Act (FCA) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court was also released this month that labs and all health care providers should heed. In Universal Health Services, Inc. v. Escobar, the Court addressed whether FCA liability could arise based on a theory of “implied false certification.” This theory allows FCA liability to be based upon failure to disclose a violation of a “material statutory, regulatory or contractual requirement.” Such a failure to disclose is considered to render a related claim false or fraudulent. Noting disagreement among federal circuit courts of appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court made two important rulings in the Escobar case:
- FCA claims can be based “at least in certain circumstances” on the implied false certification theory. That is, failure to disclose noncompliance with a material statutory, regulatory or contractual requirement can give rise to FCA liability if the omission makes the claim misleading.
- Whether such an omission makes a claim fraudulent doesn’t depend on whether the requirement violated is expressly made a condition of payment but rather whether the defendant “knowingly violated a requirement that the defendant knows is material to the Government’s payment decision.”
Ultimately, however, the U.S. Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court for review to determine whether the facts established FCA liability under the Supreme Court’s stated interpretation of the implied false certification theory.
Subscribe to view Essential
Start a Free Trial for immediate access to this article