George Breen, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "Responsible Corporate Officer' Doctrine in Play as Court OKs Exclusion of Executives."

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 27 upheld the Medicare exclusions of three senior executives from drugmaker Purdue Frederick Company. But the judges ordered a lower court to reconsider the length of the 12-year exclusions, which were based on the executives' misdemeanor convictions under the "responsible corporate officer" doctrine.

"The statute authorized the [HHS] Secretary's exclusions of the three executives," the appeals court ruled. In reversing previous decisions, however, the appeals court said the imposition of the 12 years was "arbitrary and capricious for want of a reasoned explanation for the length of their exclusions." ?...

Health care executives have been watching this case because of its potential impact on them personally, says Washington, D.C., attorney George Breen, with Epstein, Becker & Green. "Traditionally, compliance programs focus on the organization, but now health care executives are concerned with how they can demonstrate that what they did was reasonable and appropriate as opposed to just relying on the steps the organization took" to prevent and detect fraud.

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