July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

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July 22, 2019

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DOJ Task Forces Target Elder Fraud in Health Care

The U.S. Department of Justice [“Department”] has created multiple Elder Justice Task Forces to target health care providers who commit crimes while serving the elderly. With a goal of joint investigations to allow for quicker enforcement actions and prosecutions, the Task Forces combine federal, state, and local resources from law enforcement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state adult protective services agencies, long-term care ombudsman programs, U.S. attorneys’ offices, state Medicaid fraud control units, and state and local prosecutors’ offices.

Chiefly, the units will focus on “coordinat[ing] and enhanc[ing] efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.” However, in addition to pursuing federal criminal charges for health care fraud, these Task Forces also are authorized to enforce False Claims Act violations, HIPAA violations, and state criminal laws. Corporations found to have violated the law can expect steep fines, especially if they are repeat offenders, as well as other penalties, including possible debarment from federal programs like Medicare. In addition, individuals caught committing crimes risk imprisonment and being fined, too.

This announcement reflects the Department’s promise via its Elder Justice Initiative that all providers of services to the elderly will face increased scrutiny of their work.  Particularly, this should be expected first in the jurisdictions designated for the initial ten Task Forces:  the Northern Districts of California, Georgia, and Iowa; Districts of Kansas and Maryland; Western Districts of Kentucky and Washington; Southern District of Ohio; Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and Middle District of Tennessee.

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About this Author

Shawn Morgan, Trial Attorney, Federal Court Litigator, Grand Jury Witness Appearances, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm

Shawn Morgan’s has extensive trial experience in the area of federal court litigation and is skilled in handling government investigations and grand jury witness appearances.  She is a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of West Virginia, where she has prosecuted federal criminal cases.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she spent four years as a judicial clerk for The Honorable Irene M. Keeley and three years in private practice in Clarksburg.  She leads the firm’s Cybersecurity Breach Response Team and currently serves as...

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