Oak Street Health Department under federal investigation
According to reports, the US Department of Justice is investigating whether Chicago-based Oak Street Health may violate the False Declaration Act. Regulatory filing on Monday.
Oak Street stated in the document that the Department of Justice requested Oak Street on November 1 to provide information about its arrangements with third-party marketing agents regarding free transportation services provided by primary care providers to its adult Medicare patients.
Oak Street said it plans to cooperate with the government.
“We are currently unable to predict the outcome of this investigation or whether it is possible to file a lawsuit,” Oak Street said in the document. “Regardless of the outcome, due to any related defense and settlement costs, transfer of management resources and other factors, this investigation may have an adverse effect on us.”
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment, and Oak Street used language in the investigation documents.
David McLean Jr., a partner at the law firm Hall Booth Smith, said such investigations are not uncommon, and he would like to see more scrutiny of healthcare providers.
“The government has More and more attractive In some of these activities,” McLean said.
McLean said that the Justice Department usually learns about potential violations through data mining or when the whistleblower comes forward. The investigation was beneficial to the government and resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement. The whistleblower is also entitled to some settlement.
McLean said that although it is not conclusive that the Department of Justice will determine that the supplier has violated the False Declaration Act, federal prosecutors “may have preliminarily determined” that the violation occurred before sending a civil investigation request to Oak Street.
Oak Street stated in its filing that violations may result in removal from government health care plans, fines and penalties, or reimbursement of patient services.