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Government Investigations: When Not Responding is a Non-Option

By Kendra E. Pannitti, Esq., and Jonathan E. Levitt, Esq.

It is not uncommon for multiple, or even parallel, investigations into the same provider to take place concomitantly. To be sure, oftentimes, a pharmacy or physician practice is served with a government’s investigative demand for documents or testimony only to be served with another demand by a different investigating agency or governmental body shortly thereafter. These investigations can be criminal, civil, or administrative in nature. 

A recent case out of the Eastern District of Louisiana brings to light the concretely dire nature of not responding to an investigation when a response is requested. In the aforementioned case, there was both a civil and criminal investigation into a provider’s submission of false claims through billing Medicare for services that were either not medically necessary or were not provided. A Federal Judge held that the provider was subject to a default judgment and ultimately ordered the relevant providers to pay $42.8 million to the Federal Government. The default judgment was found to be warranted solely as the result of the provider’s failure to respond to the civil False Claims Act investigation.

Juggling multiple investigations is certainly complex. Oftentimes, when faced with multiple investigations, providers may be tempted to refrain from responding to the investigations with lesser consequences in hopes that the investigation will be deferred or forgotten. However, as the above-referenced case demonstrates, not responding is a non-option. Indeed, it is important to respond to all investigations where a response is a required. 

However, just as failing to respond to an investigation can have deleterious consequences, so too can responding improperly. If you are under investigation or believe you soon will be, make sure you respond appropriately to all investigations. Frier Levitt has experience in responding to and defending multiple investigations into the same provider. Contact us today to speak to an attorney. 



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