Hospital Fairness Bill to Decrease False Claim Risk

On August 1st Representatives Howard Coble (R-NC) and David Scott (D-GA) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives which aims to limit the exposure hospitals may face under a False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit.  In particular, the bill, if enacted, would amend the FCA to ensure that unintentional billing issues are not penalized as fraud under the FCA.
If enacted, this would be a considerably step towards reducing the risk associated with billing and other unintentional errors that impact hospitals through the FCA.  Recently, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a joint venture settled a FCA allegation related to a billing error for just under $1 million.  In addition, fifty-five (55) hospitals settled FCA allegations regarding inappropriate billing for more than $34 million in July.
Hospitals and health care organizations should still be mindful of FCA exposure, as this bill has yet to be enacted.  Nevertheless, all hospitals and health care organizations should have an established compliance program to assist their organization in reducing FCA, Stark Law, and Anti-Kickback Statute risk.
If you would like additional information or have any questions regarding this bill or the issues discussed, please contact Robert A. Wade at (574) 485-2002 or Alex T. Krouse at (574) 485-2003.