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David Blank quoted in “Outgoing HHS Watchdog Targeted Purdue, Paved ACA’s Path”

Law 360

Below is an excerpt:

"More recently, the OIG in 2015 created a specialized team focused on excluding fraudsters from health care programs and levying so-called civil monetary penalties. Since that time, the average length of exclusion has increased 40%, and the average annual number of civil monetary penalty settlements has jumped 70%, according to numbers provided to Law360 by David Blank, a Quarles & Brady LLP partner who spent a decade at the OIG.
“The statistics really ... speak for themselves,” Blank said.

One of Levinson’s trickiest tasks emerged almost 10 years ago after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The law strove to get Medicare a better bang for its buck by encouraging collaboration among different health care providers — a laudable goal, but one which also implicated federal restrictions on kickbacks and patient referrals.

Over the years, the OIG and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services crafted waivers that allowed so-called accountable care organizations — groups of cooperating providers — to operate without running afoul of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law, which restricts physicians from benefiting financially off their referrals.

"The OIG really took the forefront in trying to figure out how to have these arrangements become operationalized, yet still comply with the law,” Blank said."


Originally published in Law 360, March 5, 2019