Thomas Kenny, Suzanne Shehan-Ames and Dwyer Arce Author Article in The Nebraska LawyerNews | July 2, 2021
To address immediate enforcement risk relating to the recent flood of COVID related federal funds, Thomas Kenny, Suzanne Shehan-Ames and Dwyer Arce, attorneys in Kutak Rock’s Omaha office, recently authored an article in the May/June 2021 issue of The Nebraska Lawyer titled “Stimulating False Claims Act Enforcement: Recent Pandemic Stimulus Funds.”
As context, the article outlines how the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in massive changes to our society, including an unprecedented $6 trillion in federal stimulus and coronavirus relief funds. Federal enforcement officials predict these expenditures will almost certainly be followed by a surge of False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement activities, particularly for healthcare providers and private equity owners or investors that play a dominant role in healthcare.
The authors describe recent investigations and enforcement initiatives by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and their federal agency and state counterparts, to combat fraud connected to relief funds, as well as the impacts of recent court decisions. To date, very few FCA cases relating to pandemic funding have been publicly reported, since whistleblower FCA cases remain under court seal for months and usually longer. The authors also examine one of the primary enforcement mechanisms under the FCA, private whistleblowers or the qui tam action, which present particularly difficult problems for healthcare providers. They also explain why it is essential for businesses to update and carefully manage their regulatory compliance programs to avoid significant penalties and FCA liability.
Read The Nebraska Lawyer article here. Reprinted with permission from the authors and the Nebraska State Bar Association, The Nebraska Lawyer (May/June 2021).
Thomas Kenny is Co-Chair of the firm’s national Healthcare Litigation Group and national Government Disputes Group and leads the firm's State and Local Bid Protest Team. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association, and previously served as Vice Chairman of the Healthcare Liability and Litigation Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association.
Suzanne Shehan-Ames focuses her practice on commercial litigation with an emphasis on healthcare, intellectual property and contract disputes. She has successfully handled multimillion-dollar disputes involving healthcare regulatory and corporate practice matters, False Claims Act cases, bid protests, bad faith litigation, copyright, trade secret, unfair business practices, antitrust and breach of contract claims.
Dwyer Arce is an experienced appellate and trial litigator representing clients as counsel of record before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully presenting oral argument before a full federal appeals court sitting en banc, securing mandamus relief in federal court, and serving as counsel for amicus curiae in civil rights appeals.