Richard W. Westling, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm’s Nashville and Washington, DC, offices, was quoted in the Nashville Medical News, in “Staying Compliant by Avoiding Complacency,” by Cindy Sanders.
Following is an excerpt:
“For a long time, there was a legal debate about whether Stark violations were actionable under the False Claims Act,” said Richard W. Westling, a member with national law firm Epstein Becker Green in the firm’s Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices. With False Claims Act violations, he explained, there is a basic knowledge requirement that parties either know … or should have known … they were out of compliance. Conversely, he continued, “Stark is a strict liability statute. You’re either in compliance or not – intent doesn’t matter.”
The 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act cleared up any debate about the relationship of Stark and the False Claims Act. “The ACA created that connection by statute,” Westling said. “After ACA, Stark violations became predicate offenses under the False Claims Act. Not surprisingly, since the passage of the ACA, we’ve seen an increase in Stark-only false claims cases.”