A Note by Jabari Turner

Download the full note here.

Millions of Americans were stuck in their houses during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] The rising death tolls, financial insecurity, and growing uncertainty increased anxiety, depression, and a surge in emergency department visits for mental health conditions.[2] Federal and state-level licensing alongside permit waivers allowed many Americans needing mental health care, access to telemental health services.[3] As a result, Americans had more options in and out-of-state that were unavailable before the pandemic.[4] During the pandemic, federal agencies waived previous telehealth restrictions.[5] Moreover, in most states, through executive orders, out-of-state mental health providers in good standing were permitted to provide telemental services to patients.[6]

Telehealth gives patients and providers better access, options, and overall healthcare treatment and management without needing to be physically present.[7] In addition, it gives providers more continuity of care, and better … Read the rest

Disclosure Dilemma: Is Disclosure to the Government Enough to Invoke the False Claims Act’s Public Disclosure Bar?

By Daniel Naydenov

Download full note here.

The federal government has a significant financial interest in the $3 trillion dollar health care industry. Due to limited administrative resources, the government’s biggest allies in the fight against health care fraud are individual whistleblowers who are able to file lawsuits under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions and share in the recovery. The Act contains a public disclosure bar to prevent parasitic suits by opportunistic whistleblowers. This Note analyzes two contrasting decisions from the Sixth and Seventh Circuits interpreting who qualifies as the “public.” In both cases, the court was asked to determine whether a health care provider’s self-disclosure of misconduct to the federal government was sufficiently public to bar future suits. Ultimately, this Note argues that the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation is more persuasive and closer to striking the proper balance between incentivizing whistleblowers and inhibiting opportunism.… Read the rest