The Champion

September/October 2010 , Page 28 

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Here Come the Feds: The Significant Impact of Healthcare Reform on Government Investigations and Enforcement

By Holly Pierson

For the heavily regulated and already embattled healthcare industry, the recent changes in the healthcare arena by the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (together, the Healthcare Reform Law) are largely unwelcome news. The expansion of potential liability and the Department of Justice’s authority and ability to investigate fraud makes investigations into and challenges of providers’ practices by both the government and individual whistleblowers considerably more likely. While healthcare is a highly specialized practice area, all white collar practitioners could benefit from a general understanding of the recent changes in this area and the likely practical effect of these changes.

I. Increased Emphasis Upon, and Funding for, Fraud Investigations

In May 2009, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) allocated significant addi

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