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Senate Judiciary Holds Hearing on Health Care Fraud

by Astrid Fiano, DOTmed News Writer | November 11, 2009

West explained that the DOJ's enforcement tools are civil remedies through the False Claims Act, and the new Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. In addition, private plaintiffs are bringing lawsuits under the qui tam provisions as whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. The DOJ's Civil Division also investigates claims of physician kickbacks violating the Physician Self-Referral laws, and criminal prosecutions through the Office of Consumer Litigation, which investigates and prosecutes drug and device manufacturers illegally promoting and distributing mis-branded/adulterated drugs and devices.

West also discussed the Federal Bureau of Investigation's efforts in health care fraud through its White Collar Crime program and its Public Corruption and Corporate Fraud program. These programs focus on internet pharmacies, medical equipment and infusion therapy fraud, utilizing undercover operations and wiretaps. Finally, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ and its Special Litigation Section ensures the rights of persons in institutions (i.e. for developmental disabilities and mental illness and nursing homes), reviewing and investigating conditions and practices in these facilities.

The testimony may be accessed at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=4139

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