Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Anna Grizzle provided insight for an article in Bloomberg Law examining the rise of government enforcement actions against individual physicians involving opioid-related allegations under the False Claims Act (FCA). According to Bloomberg research, there were only two opioid-related FCA settlements involving individuals between 2014 and 2017; in 2018 the government recovered more than $4.6 million from five individuals related to opioid fraud. According to industry leaders, this upward trend indicates that the government may be targeting individual physicians and providers to combat the opioid abuse crisis.
As Anna pointed out, “Providers prescribing and distributing opioids are on notice that their actions will be watched closely, and it’s essential that they remain up to date on current laws, monitor prescribing practices, and report any diversion promptly.” Anna also added that “various states are joining in the anti-opioid fight and are imposing more stringent regulations and pursuing enforcement actions.”
The full article, “Fraudulent Opioid Prescribers Can Expect More Federal Charges,” was published by Bloomberg Law on February 4, 2019, and is available online.