To the dismay of the corporate C-suite, federal enforcers are tackling healthcare fraud by targeting the top executives of healthcare enterprises, nursing homes, drug companies and medical device manufactures.
To prevent repeat offenses, the federal government, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Justice Department, is laying down the law and increasing penalties. In addition to the standard fines normally associated with settling fraud, corporate executives are facing criminal charges and exclusions from government health programs, according to the Associated Press.
"When you look at the history of healthcare enforcement, we've seen a number of Fortune 500 companies that have been caught not once, not twice, but sometimes three times violating the trust of the American people, submitting false claims, paying kickbacks to doctors, marketing drugs which have not been tested for safety and efficacy," said Lewis Morris, chief counsel for the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department.
The idea of targeting select individuals for wrongs committed by an organization is based on the Park Doctrine, a 1975 Supreme Court ruling in which a company president was held accountable for corporate noncompliance.
Medicare fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion each year, according to the AP.