Intermountain drops false claims case it took to Supreme Court

Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss its petition to review a False Claims Act case that began in 2012.

The case at issue was filed in 2012 under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. It alleges Intermountain submitted false claims for medically unnecessary heart procedures performed by a cardiologist at two of its hospitals.

The federal government declined to intervene in the case, and the district court granted Intermountain's motion to dismiss the complaint. The district court held that the whistleblower failed to show that the defendants "knowingly made an objectively false representation to the government that caused the government to remit payment" for the procedures at issue, according to The National Law Review.

The whistleblower appealed the decision, and the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the dismissal. The appellate court acknowledged the whistleblower is required to allege "the who, what, when, where and how of the alleged claims," but the court excused certain deficiencies in the whistleblower's pleadings. The court said the deficiencies were caused by the whistleblower's "inability to obtain information within the defendant's exclusive control."

Intermountain filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on two issues in the case. First, the health system asked the court to resolve a split between the circuits over a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that requires fraud lawsuits to include specific allegations of fraud. Second, Intermountain asked the Supreme Court to examine whether the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act are constitutional.

The Supreme Court won't weigh in on those issues now that Intermountain has requested the case be dismissed. The health system is asking the court to dismiss the case because it has reached a settlement, according to Law360. However, the details of that settlement have not been released.

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