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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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FCA Issues to Watch: The Future of the FCA's Implied Certification Theory of Falsity

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January 5, 2016

There are a number of key issues that will drive the government's enforcement efforts in the coming year and that will have a significant impact on how healthcare fraud matters are pursued by relators asserting FCA claims and are defended on behalf of healthcare providers. In the coming weeks, we will examine these issues in greater depth and why healthcare providers should keep a close eye on these issues. This week, we examine the future of implied certification as a viable FCA theory of falsity.

In December 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. Escobar and will consider whether and to what extent the implied certification theory is a viable theory of falsity under the FCA. This case undoubtedly will be one of the most closely watched FCA cases to be argued before the Supreme Court since the 1986 amendments to the FCA.

In the absence of a statutory definition of "falsity," courts have grappled with how to define the FCA's reach in determining what constitutes a false or fraudulent claim. To this end, a number of courts have fashioned distinctions between "factually" false and "legally" false claims and have further subdivided "legally" false claims based on whether those claims are premised on "implied" or "express" certification of compliance with conditions of payment. See, e.g., U.S. ex rel. Conner v. Salina Reg'l Health Ctr., Inc., 543 F.32d 1211, 1217 (10th Cir. 2008).

To complicate things further, there is a division among some courts regarding whether the conditions of payment upon which an implied certification theory of liability must be expressly identified as such. Compare Chesbrough v. VPA, P.C., 655 F.3d 461, 468 (6th Cir. 2011); Mikes v. Straus, 274 F.3d 687, 702 (2d Cir. 2001), with U.S. ex rel. Hutcheson v. Blackstone, 647 F.3d 377, 386-88 (1st Cir. 2011); U.S. ex rel. Triple Canopy, Inc., 775 F.3d 628, 636 (4th Cir. 2015); U.S. ex rel. Davis v. SAIC, 626 F.3d 1257, 1269-70 (D.C. Cir. 2010).

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To continue reading the content in this article on the firm's Inside the FCA blog, please click here to view the post.

Bass, Berry & Sims' Inside the FCA blog features news, commentary and thought leadership covering FCA, healthcare fraud and procurement fraud.

 

 


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