Taft Successfully Argues for Temporary Restraining Order Against Two Illinois Agencies

Taft successfully convinced a judge of the Cook County Chancery Court to impose a temporary restraining order against the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services and its Inspector General, preventing these agencies from withholding Medicaid funds from Taft’s client, Family Medicine Specialists (FMS), during the pendency of the state’s investigation into FMS’ billing practices. FMS is a primary care physician practice in Cook and Lake County, Ill., which focuses on providing much-needed medical care to mostly impoverished patients. FMS was struggling to keep its 10 offices afloat due to the fact that the state has withheld in excess of $1.5 million from FMS over the last two months. 

The state contended that, pursuant to Illinois law, it is allowed to withhold all Medicaid funds from a provider for up to three years if the state has “credible evidence” that a provider had engaged in billing malfeasance. The state refused to meet and confer with FMS, arguing that it was under no obligation to disclose either the nature of its investigation or any specifics regarding the alleged “credible evidence,” which could be as little as “an allegation from any source, including but not limited to, fraud hotline complaints, claims data mining, patterns identified through provider audits, civil actions filed under the Illinois False Claims Act, and law enforcement investigations.”

After extensive briefing and oral argument, the court disagreed, holding that FMS was likely to succeed on the merits of its argument that the state violated FMS’ due process rights by failing to provide FMS with notice of the allegations against it and an opportunity to meaningfully contest those allegations at a hearing subject to judicial review. The court ordered the state to immediately resume paying FMS until the court had an opportunity to conduct a preliminary injunction hearing.

The Taft team included Chicago lawyers Christopher Grohman, Richard Hu, and Anne Yonover. 

Grohman is a partner in Taft's Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense practice. He represents public and private companies and individuals across a wide range of industries in anti-money laundering compliance, fraud investigations, healthcare compliance, online gaming regulation, and other complex investigatory and litigation matters.

Hu is a partner in Taft's Litigation practice, focusing on data privacy, commercial litigation, labor and employment litigation and compliance, regulatory compliance defense, healthcare regulatory litigation and compliance, and medical cannabis licensing and compliance. 

Yonover is an attorney in the firm’s Litigation practice, handling all aspects of litigation including drafting pleadings, answering and drafting discovery, taking depositions, and participating in cases that go to trial. Prior to joining Taft, Anne served as a law clerk and extern for the Honorable Charles P. Kocoras at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

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