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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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Seventh Circuit Sidesteps Escobar; Boots FCA Claims for Lack of Knowledge

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July 14, 2016

The Seventh Circuit's rejection of the implied certification theory of liability gave rise, in part, to the circuit split resolved by the Supreme Court's opinion in Escobar. In its first FCA decision since the Supreme Court's opinion - U.S. ex rel. Sheet Metal Workers International Association v. Horning Investments, LLC, the Seventh Circuit sidestepped the question of whether the relator's allegations that a government contractor's certification of compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act amounted to an implied false certification sufficient to give rise to FCA liability. Rather than tackle the implications of Escobar, the Seventh Circuit affirmed entry of summary judgment in favor of the contractor, explaining that the defendant's conduct amounted to certifying compliance with an ambiguous statutory obligation and, therefore, did not constitute a "knowing" violation of the FCA. 

In Horning, the relator asserted FCA claims against a subcontractor on a construction project for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for allegedly violating the Davis-Bacon Act by failing to compensate workers at prevailing wages. According to the relator, Horning failed to pay workers prevailing wages because it deducted a $5.00 per hour flat fee from the paychecks of each of its employees and placed those funds in an insurance trust without regard to whether an employee was presently eligible for any benefits and without evaluating the actual monetary value of the benefit for each individual employee. Horning allegedly violated the FCA by certifying compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act in connection with its request for payment from the VA.

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



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