Health Law Highlights

Whether “Willful” Under the Anti-Kickback Statute Requires Knowledge that the Conduct is Unlawful

Summary of article from Mintz, by Laurence J. Freedman, Laura E. Martin:

The Supreme Court has the opportunity to clarify the definition of “willfulness” under the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) in a case involving McKesson Corporation. The Second Circuit upheld the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) case, ruling that “willfulness” under the AKS requires the defendant to know their conduct is unlawful. The petitioner, Adam Hart, argues that this interpretation is too stringent and seeks Supreme Court review to resolve a circuit split on the issue. The outcome could significantly impact the Department of Justice and relators’ ability to prove AKS violations as predicates for FCA claims. The case has attracted significant interest from various industry and legal groups, anticipating potential Supreme Court involvement.