Mel Beras

Photo of Mel Beras

Latest Articles

This post was also written by James C. Martin. In a decision that has significant repercussions both for the pharmaceutical and health care industries and False Claims Act jurisprudence more broadly, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a groundbreaking Fourth Circuit decision affirming the dismissal of a novel False Claims Act suit against Reed Smith client Omnicare, Inc. In its February 2014 decision, the Fourth Circuit rejected the qui tam relator’s claim that…
This post was also written by James C. Martin. Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the relator’s False Claims Act (FCA) complaint against Omnicare in United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc., a decision having significant repercussions for the pharmaceutical industry and broader FCA jurisprudence. The Fourth Circuit rejected plaintiff’s claim that Omnicare violated the FCA when it sought reimbursement for drugs that it…
As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to combat health care fraud, Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new public-private partnership designed to share information and best practices in order to improve detection and prevent payment of fraudulent health care billings. Launched July 25, 2012, the voluntary, collaborative venture brings together the federal government, state officials, several private health insurance organizations, and other health care…
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743) (“WPEA”) last week, a bill that builds on the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (“WPA”). The WPA currently prohibits executive branch departments and agencies from taking retaliatory action against any employee who reports waste, fraud, abuse, or other wrongdoing at an agency. If approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislation, introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D Hawaii), would significantly…
On March 13, 2012, the Senate (by voice vote) unanimously passed an amendment to the $109 billion Senate Transportation bill designed to strengthen “Buy America” preferences. The legislation, introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), improves transparency and reporting of proposed “Buy America” waivers by requiring the Department of Transportation to provide notification on a public website and a 15-day comment period before such waivers are granted. The measure also ensures an…
On Thursday, February 9, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced the United States Steel and Security Act, along with Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D Minn.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.). The legislation would reinstate the requirement that armor steel plate purchased by the U.S. military be 100 percent both melted and finished in the United States, reversing a 2009 decision by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)…
On October 14, 2011, just one week after the release of the “WikiLeaks Order,” the Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proposed a rule that would require certain contractors to complete training that addresses the protection of privacy and the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information (PII). Specifically, the rule requires contractors who access government records, handle PII, or design, develop, maintain, or…
As we noted last week, the $900 million cut from the federal budget to avoid default of the nation’s debt obligations is only just the beginning. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (“Act”) guarantees that another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion will be cut from the federal debt over the next ten years (Public Law 112-35). The only question is how these cuts will come. Will the bipartisan congressional debt “Super Committee” meet the tight…
Last week, the House of Representatives and the Senate each voted to pass the Budget Control Act of 2011 (“Act”) raising the nation’s debt limit and averting the real threat of a default on our debt obligations. President Barack Obama promptly signed it into law the same day, narrowly averting default (Public Law 112-35). However, a compromise called by some as a “Satan Sandwich” still has major ramifications on federal spending priorities for months to…
This post was also written by Joelle E.K. Laszlo. It has been called “a steaming pile,” posited as “the worst government website . . . ever seen,” and emblazoned with two giant red thumbs pointed downward. And those were the reviews of its proponents. Just a handful of weeks after much of its content it became publicly available, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (“FAPIIS”) looks like a database only a…