The Biden Administration signals a sharp focus on healthcare enforcement



United States Publication April 2022

On April 20, the US Department of Justice announced a nationwide healthcare fraud takedown involving 21 defendants, nine federal districts, and "over US$149 million in COVID-19-related false billings to federal programs and theft from federally-funded pandemic assistance programs." This latest healthcare fraud takedown involves allegations of identity theft, charging for services that were not provided, trafficking in fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, exploitation of pandemic telehealth policies, and misappropriation of CARES Act Healthcare Provider Relief Funds (PRF).

Associate Deputy Attorney General Kevin Chambers, the Director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement for the US Department of Justice, noted the takedown "illustrates the success of our unprecedented interagency effort to quickly investigate and prosecute those who abuse our critical health care programs." In line with the Administration's approach to targeting individuals as well as entities, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Kenneth Polite noted the Department will use "all available tools to hold accountable medical professionals, corporate executives, and others."

In an unquestionably related development, the White House released its National Drug Control Strategy. The strategy includes focusing on untreated addiction and drug trafficking as solutions toward the national opioid and drug overdose crisis. This is yet another signal that the Administration is laser-focused on health and healthcare issues.

Norton Rose Fulbright represents businesses, executives, and healthcare providers in government investigations and has an experienced team of former high-level government officials uniquely positioned to navigate investigations into participation in pandemic relief programs. If you or your business are involved in a government investigation or receive a government subpoena or civil investigative demand (CID), our team will defend your interests aggressively and effectively.

Co-Author Senior associate Chris Cooke (San Antonio) is employed by Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and is licensed in New York and the District of Columbia; he is working under the supervision of a licensed Texas Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer pending admission to the Texas bar. In 2020, Chris helped stand up the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, which was established under the CARES Act to investigate pandemic-relief fraud. In this role, Chris helped establish the office's investigative processes and worked with officials across the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, DOJ, the Small Business Administration, and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.


Head of Healthcare Investigations, United States

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