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Fraud and False Claims

Anti-kickback violations as false claims - U.S. ex rel. Thompson v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 125 F.3d 899 (5th Cir. 1997)

Guide to U.S. ex rel. Thompson v. Columbia-HCA Healthcare Corp., 125 F.3d 899 (5th Cir. 1997)

Relator, James M. Thompson, M.D., a physician in private practice in Corpus Christi, Texas, brought this qui tam action pursuant to the federal False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. ss 3729 et seq., against defendants Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation and certain affiliated entities (collectively, "Columbia/HCA") and Corpus Christi Bay Area Surgery, Ltd.   In his second amended complaint, at issue in this appeal, Thompson alleged that defendants submitted false or fraudulent claims under the FCA by submitting Medicare claims for services rendered in violation of the Medicare anti-kickback statute, commonly known as the "Stark" laws after the statute's congressional sponsor, United States Representative Fortney H. "Pete" Stark. He further alleged that defendants made false statements to obtain payment of false or fraudulent claims in violation of the FCA by falsely certifying in annual cost reports that the Medicare services identified therein were provided in compliance with the laws and regulations regarding the provision of healthcare services. Finally, Thompson alleged that defendants violated the FCA by submitting Medicare claims for medically unnecessary services.

The district court dismissed Thompson's complaint for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set out below, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.

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