DOJ Decries 'Extraordinary' FCA Trial Split For Hospice

By Jeff Overley (June 10, 2015, 7:22 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday pressed an Alabama federal judge to reconsider splitting a hospice chain's upcoming False Claims Act trial into two parts, calling the move in the whistleblower case "extraordinary" and unprecedented in the law's 150-year history.

The DOJ's motion came three weeks after U.S. District Judge Karon Owen Bowdre sided with AseraCare Inc.'s request to divide the trial into two phases — the first exploring whether billing claims submitted to Medicare were objectively false, and the second exploring whether company officials had knowledge of falsity. In dividing the trial, Judge Bowdre concluded that allowing evidence of...

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