Supreme Court vetoes efforts to limit anti-fraud law aimed at government contractors

The U.S. Supreme Court revived two whistleblower lawsuits alleging Safeway and SuperValu overcharged the government for prescription drugs by $200 million.

The backdrop: The cases involve allegations that major retail pharmacies knowingly overcharged Medicaid and Medicare by overstating their ~~”usual and customary prices.”~~
* The issue before the court was determining the standard of proof for “knowingly” under the False Claims Act.

Supreme Court decision: In a unanimous ruling, the court decided that vendors billing the government are liable for damages if they “believed that their claims were not accurate.”
* This overturned the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the term “usual and customary charges” was ambiguous enough to allow for various definitions.

Implications: The Supreme Court’s decision sides with whistleblowers, the Biden Administration, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, a longtime proponent of the False Claims Act.
* The law seeks to combat fraud by private contractors who overbill the government or fail to deliver promised goods.

View original article on NPR

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