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United States ex rel. Smith v. Serenity Hospice Care, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublein Division

August 28, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. Christie Smith Plaintiff,
v.
SERENITY HOSPICE CARE, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER

DUDLEY H. BOWEN, District Judge.

The present qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. ยง 3729 et seq., arises from Defendant Serenity Hospice Care, LLC's ("Serenity") alleged submission of claims for payment to the Medicare Program for patients who were improperly certified or re-certified for hospice care. Before turning to the pending motions, a brief review of the procedural history of this case is warranted.

Relator Christie Smith filed a qui tam complaint under seal on January 8, 2013. On March 13, 2013, the United States filed a motion for a 180-day extension of time in which to notify the Court of its decision whether or not to intervene. By Order dated March 15, 2013, the Court granted the United States sixty days. On May 14, 2013, the United States filed a second motion for 180-day extension of time in which to notify the Court of its decision whether or not to intervene.

After conducting a hearing on the motion, the Court granted the requested extension on June 18, 2013. On November 8, 2013, the United States filed a third motion for an extension of time in which to notify the Court of its decision whether or not to intervene. On November 12, 2013, the Court granted the requested extension of 90 days and ordered that there be no more extensions. The United States filed its notice of election to intervene in part in the case on February 10, 2014, and filed an amended complaint in intervention on April 17, 2014.

Presently pending before the Court are the following motions:

- Serenity's motion to dismiss (doc. no. 29)
- Serenity's motion for summary judgment (doe. no. 31)
- The United States' motion to continue or deny Serenity's motion for summary judgment (doc. no. 33)
- Serenity's motion to stay discovery (doc. no. 43)
- Serenity's motion for hearing (doc. no. 44)
- Serenity's emergency motion to quash the Government's subpoenas (doe. no. 46)
- The United States' motion for extension of local rule 16.3 deadline to file motions to amend and join parties (doc. no. 49)

On August 7, 2014, the Court held a hearing on the pending motions. As stated in the hearing, the Court issued, directed and thereupon ORDERED the following:

- The United States Attorney shall supply to the Court via electronic filing a list of each and every interview, deposition, civil investigative demand, testimony, or statement taken by any attorney, investigator, or operative of the United States relating to this matter since its initiation on January 8, 2013. The filing shall be accessible by ...

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