Texas Heart Hospital to Pay $48 million to Resolve Allegations of False Claims

The DOJ has announced that Texas Heart Hospital of the Southwest LLP and its subsidiary THHBP Management Company, LLC have agreed to pay the US $48 million to settle allegations that the hospital submitted claims to Medicare that were in violation of the Physician Self-Referral Law and the Anti-kickback Statute of the False Claims Act. The allegations of misconduct rest on the hospitals requirement that it’s owners, who are physicians, satisfy a yearly quota of 48 patient contacts in order to maintain ownership. Under the Physician Self-Referral Law, commonly known as the Stark Law, hospitals may not bill Medicare for services furnished by a doctor with which the hospital has a financial relationship, barring certain regulatory exceptions. The law is intended to ensure physicians operate in the best interest of their patients and not under the influence of improper financial inducements.

The settlement is the result of a qui tam complaint brought by two former Texas Heart Hospital physician owners. They will collectively receive almost $14 million as their share in the recovery.

Read the DOJ press release here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/texas-heart-hospital-and-wholly-owned-subsidiary-thhbp-management-company-llc-pay-48-million


Free Virtual Seminar by Online Courtroom Project and NITA

As courts around the country have struggled to continue operations in the face of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, each state and the federal courts have issued their own set of guidelines to try and resume trials. However, each jurisdiction, and each judge has also implemented their own set of practices, given their resources, staffing, budget, and judgement. While most of these national, regional, and individual practices have been conducted on a trial and error basis, the goal of this conference is to provide practical recommendations on procedures, resources, and skills for both courts and attorneys who are looking to conduct jury trials in this challenging time.

Dates: November 13, and 20th, 2020

This conference is free of charge. Attendees are encouraged to donate to a designated charity to assist underserved communities gain greater access to technology and the internet.

CLE credit will not be provided for this summit.

Reuben Guttman, from Guttman, Buschner & Brooks, PLLC, will be presenting a panel discussion on Implication for Post-Covid Litigation and Trials.

For Agenda information for this two-day free seminar, visit https://www.nita.org/summit-about?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTURreE56bG1OV1ZtTldOaiIsInQiOiJHait4UTcyR1VsNkZwR2M5cWNEMlEwYVwvS25XSTE2dUtsMGNpZmlYdE44aERFQUZudCtFWEIxQUNPXC9ocjJpZHlWa2JKOWZ2OGt4bWxjY2NwVUNyaktXU1BQZ2pUNEZmdmp1c0s1MUN3NXV1c0lnMHQ4ZVwvRFNtRFJtbzhcL3BLZmcifQ%3D%3D


Virtual Attorney Seminar: False Claims Act: Offense and Defense


Each year private citizen suits under the False Claims Act have returned billions of dollars to Federal and State treasuries. These suits leverage the government’s compliance enforcement resources and provide bounties to those individuals or entities – known as relators – who initiate them.

Who has standing to bring these suits? How are they investigated and put together? What are the pleading requirements and what role does the government play in overseeing this litigation. These issues along with relevant ethical concerns will be discussed from both the Relator and the Defendant perspective.

It is a program of particular interest to plaintiff counsel’s seeking to explore new litigation opportunities, and defense counsel, in-house and insurance counsel who work with clients who do direct or indirect business with the government and are subject to liability under the False Claims Act. It is a program of particular interest to those in the healthcare, education, and defense arenas or for those involved with any client operating in whole or in part with government monies.

The False Claims Act, involving cases filed under seal on behalf of the government, presents unique challenges under the ethical rules. The program will explore these challenges with an eye toward the applicable ethical rules and considerations.


Reuben Guttman, Rguttmn@gbblegal.com, is a founding member of Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC (GBB). His practice involves complex litigation and class actions.

The International Business Times called Mr. Guttman “one of the world’s most prominent whistleblower attorneys,” and he has been recognized as a Washingtonian Top Lawyer by Washingtonian Magazine. His has been counsel in cases brought under the Federal False Claims Act that have returned more than $5.5 million to the government. A February 19, 2015 profile of Mr Guttman by the Boston Globe’s STAT NEWS referred to him as the “Lawyer Pharma Loves to Hate.” Citing a $98 million recovery from Community Health Systems, Inc., Law 360 named Mr. Guttman a “Health Care MVP” and profiled him in a December 1, 2014 article.

In addition to his work on behalf of workers and whistleblowers, Mr. Guttman is the author and/or editor of numerous articles, book chapters, and technical publications. He has appeared on ABC Nightly News, CNN, BBC World News, and has been quoted by major news sources including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His cases have been discussed in several books.

He has been a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Emory University School of Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution and has been a Team Leader for Emory Law School’s Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program. He is currently the Senior Advisor to the Emory Law Corporate Governance and Accountability Review (ECGAR). He is a National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) faculty member and co-author, with J.C. Lore of Rutgers Law School, of Pretrial Advocacy, to be published by NITA in 2021.

As part of a U.S. State Department program in conjunction with the Emory law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, he has been one of five visiting professors at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City, training Mexican Judges and practitioners on oral advocacy and trial practice. He has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities including John Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, Peking University in Beijing and Renmin University in Beijing. In 2006, the Dutch Embassy in China invited him to share his perspectives with experts in China about changes to the nation’s labor laws. He also traveled to China and trained Shanghai fraud prosecutors on investigations.
Mr. Guttman earned his law degree at Emory University School of Law, (1985), and his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Rochester, (1981), and he is a founder of the website www.whisleblowerlaws.com.

To learn more, CLE information or to register visit: https://www.celesq.com/programs/view/false-claims-act-offense-and-defense


ON-Demand Podcast: Covid-19 Whistleblower and Qui Tam CLE: Collecting Evidence & Making the Claim

Learn the latest on Mastering Bad Faith & Covid-19 Litigation with this convenient, 24/7 On-demand Seminar & Complimentary Podcast. Register to obtain CLE & MCLE credit, online access to complete course & reference materials, and attend this on-demand seminar. YOU MAY LISTEN FROM ALMOST ANY TYPE OF COMPUTER OR IPOD. ACCESS TO THE RECORDING AND MATERIALS DOES NOT EXPIRE.


Over the past two decades, nearly $30 billion has been recovered through Qui Tam cases under the False Claims Act. The demand for attorneys in this surging area has become even stronger as the federal government has spent over $6 trillion in response to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, or Covid-19. As it becomes apparent that some recipients of the funds are not adhering to requisite protocols, there is an immediate need for attorneys to represent clients in this lucrative area of law. There is also a tremendous need for attorneys fluent in class action litigation & defenses for parallel matters stemming from Qui Tam claims. In particular, attorneys must be fluent on complaints, defenses, litigation strategies, discovery and government incentives, among others. The faculty for this seminar features three of the nation’s leading authorities in this practice. Registration includes online access to course and reference materials.


Covid-19 Whistleblower and Qui Tam CLE: Collecting Evidence & Making the Claim:

a. Legal Issues involving the Coronavirus/Covid-19

b. Earning Fees from Whistleblower, Qui Tam and False Claims Actions

c. Filing Winning Complaints

d. Latest Developments in Qui Tam & Whistleblower Claims

e. Obtaining Large Rewards through Government Incentives

f. Key Procedural Distinctions in Retaliation Claims

g. Overcoming & Responding to Defenses

h. Effective Use of Key Documents & Evidence

i. Cutting-edge Strategies in False Claim Cases

j. Ethical Issues

k. Parallel Class Actions

l. Class Certification

Recorded Question & Answer Session

Biography of Seminar Faculty:

1. Reuben Guttman is a founding member of Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC. His practice involves complex litigation and class actions. He has represented clients in claims brought under the Federal False Claims Act, securities laws, the Price Anderson Act, Department of Energy statutes and regulations, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and various employment discrimination, labor and environmental statutes. He has also tried and/or litigated claims involving fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, antitrust, business interference and other common law torts. The International Business Times has called Mr. Guttman “one of the world’s most prominent whistleblower attorneys.” He has served as counsel in some of the largest recoveries under the False Claims Act. Mr. Guttman served as lead counsel in a series of cases resulting in the recovery of more than $30 million under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Mr. Guttman is the author and/or editor of numerous articles, book chapters, and technical publications and his commentary has appeared in Market Watch, American Lawyer Media, AOL Government, Accounting Today, and the Jerusalem Post. In addition to his writings, Mr. Guttman has testified before committees of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate on the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). In 1992, he advised President-elect Clinton’s transition team on labor policy and worker health and safety regulation. Mr. Guttman earned his law degree at Emory University School of Law, where he has been appointed as a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Emory University School of Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution and has been a Team Leader for the school’s Trial Techniques Program.

2. Shauna Itri is a Partner at Seeger Weiss LLP, where she has been leading litigation teams in complex fraud cases in both state and federal courts for over a decade. Her nationwide practice has focused on representing plaintiffs in various settings including securities and consumer class actions; antitrust; and cases involving patient harm. Shauna also has extensive experience representing whistleblowers in False Claims Act lawsuits, and tax and securities whistleblowers with claims under the IRS and SEC whistleblower programs. Ms. Itri is a nationally recognized speaker and has published numerous articles on representing whistleblowers and litigating Qui Tam claims. She served on the litigation teams working on the multi-billion-dollar lawsuits brought against BMW, General Motors, Ford Motors, and Mercedes for allegedly disguising the actual emission levels of their diesel engine cars. The settlement figure in these cases make them the largest auto-related consumer class-action settlement in U.S. history. Ms. Itri was a member of trial team of False Claims Act case which settled for $120 million, in two cases that alleged that a defendant defrauded the government by providing kickbacks to nursing homes. Ms. Itri was part of a litigation team that worked extensively with the Department of Justice and State Attorneys General across the nation representing whistleblowers in a series of False Claims Act cases against drug companies for fraudulent Medicaid and Medicare drug pricing which has led to more than $3 billion in recoveries. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Villanova University.

3. Jennifer A. Riley is a Partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where she defends companies facing class actions, collective actions, pattern or practice lawsuits, and other types of representative proceedings, ranging in size from dozens to tens of thousands of claims. For nearly two decades, Ms. Riley has defended companies faced with significant complex litigation matters. As such, she works on the forefront of the developing law in an ever changing arena. Ms. Riley regularly develops strategies for navigating some of the largest challenges faced by corporate America today and counsels employers confronted with a range of complex employment law theories that span from claims of discrimination or sexual harassment to myriad types of alleged wage & hour violations. She is a regular speaker and presenter regarding developments in the law and challenges on the horizon. Ms. Riley has extensive litigation experience. She has represented clients facing bet-the-company cases in a wide range of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country. Ms. Riley has served as trial counsel in federal court bench trials, jury trials, and arbitration proceedings. She has successfully defended a multitude of actions by securing dismissal, defeating class or collective action certification, prevailing on summary judgment, and structuring and securing approval of complex and multiparty settlements and consent decrees. Ms. Riley also routinely counsels employers to navigate thorny employment issues, including through investigations and terminations. she is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

CLE Credit: Rossdale CLE is a national leader in attorney education and has trained thousands of attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals.

Learn more at https://www.mcssl.com/store/legalresourcesinc/catalog/product/29aaead722c8417dabf0b37b00a97efe