Litigation attorney George Breen protects individuals and organizations involved in the health care and life sciences industries at the first sign of government inquiry into alleged violations of the federal and various state False Claims Acts, privacy rules, civil monetary penalty laws, and other obligations.
Clients value his long-game defense strategies, which reflect decades of regulatory counsel and high-impact advocacy before government agencies, judges, and juries. When business disputes arise, clients also look to George to resolve commercial litigation threats, like claims of fraud and breach of contract and fiduciary duty. During federal and state government investigations, clients rely on George’s many years of litigation experience in addressing demands and advancing arguments. He positions clients well before the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and other regulators, where he is known as reliable and knowledgeable. Should negotiations turn unproductive, George is trial ready and tested. His continuity of counsel has prevented clients from suffering the imposition of enormous costs, business destruction, and exclusion from health care programs.
With a collaborative and practical approach, George works to reduce the stress and limit the disruption that he knows investigations and litigation can bring. Recognizing the challenges that regulatory compliance brings to all his clients—insurers, health systems, providers, drug and device manufacturers and suppliers alike—whether in conducting internal investigations or addressing daily operations, George strives to find compliance solutions to align with business goals.
George also serves the industry and profession as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Health Law Association and through his pro bono practice.
He is a frequent lecturer and author on issues related to health care fraud and abuse, corporate compliance, and trial practice. He has served as a member of Law360′s Health Editorial Advisory Board, and his commentaries have been published in newspapers and other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, and Law360, and also by Bloomberg and Reuters.
George holds several leadership positions within Epstein Becker Green, including as a Chair of its National Health Care & Life Sciences Practice Steering Committee, as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and as a Chair of the firm’s Washington, DC, office Pro Bono Committee.
In addition to his professional activities, George devotes significant time to charitable and nonprofit organizations and is active in his community. He has served as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Strategic Planning Committee for the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, and he has coached in the Fort Hunt Little League and the Northern Virginia Junior CYO Basketball Program.
- Commercial and Contract Litigation
- Corporate Compliance Program Development, Implementation, and Effectiveness
- Data Breach/Cybersecurity Investigations & Litigation
- Federal and State False Claims Act (Including Qui Tam)
- Fraud and Abuse Compliance Counseling and Defense
- Government and Commercial Coding, Coverage, and Payment
- Health Care
- Health Care and Life Sciences Investigations and Enforcement
- Health Care Litigation
- Life Sciences
- Litigation & Business Disputes
- Managed Care
- Medical Staff, Peer Review
- Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Asset Management
- Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility
- Whistleblowing and Compliance
- White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations
- Secured dismissal with prejudice of all claims brought against a regional health care system in a case brought under federal and state False Claims Acts. The case alleged improper admission of emergency room patients resulting in the provision of unnecessary medical services and the submission of false claims.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a hospital outpatient clinic against allegations that services provided were not supervised in accordance with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulations in a matter brought under federal and state False Claims Acts. Additionally, George obtained judgment in his client’s favor on the retaliation claims pursued by the whistleblower.
- Attained a judgment of dismissal, with prejudice, in his defense of a nationwide home health company in a case brought under federal and multistate False Claims Acts. Allegations involved upcoding of services billed to federal and state government health care programs.
- Concluded a federal government investigation into the marketing practices of a pharmaceutical client with the matter closing without any finding of wrongdoing.
- Persuaded the government to conclude its investigation—without charging his physician clients with criminal health care fraud—related to false diagnosis allegations in a matter stemming from the filing of a qui tam action.
- Achieved a complete victory for a regional health insurer in a hotly contested commercial litigation with a hospital provider over reimbursement rates for hospital services. In securing a defense verdict, all rates proposed by George’s client were ordered to be paid by the hospital.
- Represented a regional health care system in a multiyear investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) involving allegations of failure to comply with HIPAA, leading to the disclosure of protected patient information. After producing significant documentary and testimonial evidence, the case was closed by OCR without a finding of liability, or imposition of any sanction or requirement of any remedial conduct.
- Defended a client in a multidefendant case brought under federal and multistate False Claims Acts, alleging fraudulent submissions in connection with the Medicare Risk Adjustment Program. George concluded the case prior to trial, with his client responsible for only for a small fraction of the settlement.
- Represented numerous clients in challenging claimed overpayments identified by Medicare Administrative Contractors; many matters concluded in complete victories for clients, with tribunal determinations that there was no overpayment.
- Chambers USA: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, District of Columbia—Healthcare, "Leaders in Their Field" (2020-2023); "Recognised Practitioner" (2019)
George Breen is head of the department and regularly defends healthcare providers involved in complex FCA litigation and investigations. According to a source, "George gives valuable advice from his wealth of experience." Another source says, "He does absolutely phenomenal work. He handles complex cases very well. George is very impressive, well prepared and professional."
— Chambers USA (2022)
- The Legal 500 United States, Healthcare: Advice to Service Providers and Healthcare: Advice to Health Insurer categories (2014, 2015, 2017 to 2023); M&A Middle Market (Sub $500 Million) category (2023)
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rated (2002 to 2023)
- Washington, DC, Super Lawyers, Health Care and Civil Litigation: Defense (2012 to 2023)
- The Best Lawyers in America, Health Care Law (2023 to 2024)
- American Health Lawyers Association, Health Care Liability and Litigation Practice Group, Chair; AHLA Pro Bono Champion (2013)
- Top Rated Lawyers™, Health Care Law (2014 to 2022)
- Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (J.D.)
- Connecticut College (B.A.)
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
Professional & Community Involvement
- American Health Law Association – Chair, Health Care Liability and Litigation Practice Group
- District of Columbia Defense Lawyers Association, Past President and Board Member
- Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., Board Member
- Good Shepherd Catholic Church – Member, Parish Pastoral Council and Strategic Planning Committee
- International Lawyers Network, Ambassador
- Law360 Health Care Editorial Advisory Board, Member
- Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow
- Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Board Member
- AHLA Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute: Reporting from the Trenches—A False Claims Act Enforcement 2022 Recap and Predictions for 2023January 31, 2023
- AHLA Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute 2022: False Claims Act Enforcement from the Frontlines—Investigations and Litigation in 2021 and the Outlook for 2022February 3, 2022