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George Breen Quoted in Article, "Expect Whistleblower Suits, Patent Disputes in 2012"

Health Law360, 1/1/2012

George Breen, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "Expect Whistleblower Suits, Patent Disputes in 2012."

Following is an excerpt:

Health care providers can expect to see an increase in qui tam suits in the coming year, thanks to the amendments made to the False Claims Act by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Wendy Goldstein and George Breen, top health care litigators at Epstein Becker Green.

The health care reform act requires providers to return any Medicare or Medicaid overpayments to the government within 60 days of the discovery of the overpayment. If they fail to do so, they could be subject to liability under the FCA. In addition, the PPACA amended the federal criminal Anti-Kickback Statute to make claims submitted under that statute automatically false claims under the FCA — all changes that will lead to more false claims suits, Goldstein said.

Health care providers will also likely see an uptick in suits over issues of privacy and security regarding medical records, Breen said. Individuals whose medical records may have been compromised in a data breach are trying to assert private causes of action under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Breen said.

"The law has been consistent that individuals don't have a private right of action under HIPAA, but we have seen attempts to circumvent that," Breen said.

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