For providers to be liable under the federal False Claims Act, enforcers must prove that providers knowingly submitted false claims. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Schutte v. SuperValu, Inc. [No. 21-1326 (U.S. June 2023)] that defines what “knowingly” means. The Court ruled that providers act knowingly depending on their “culpable state of mind” when they submitted alleged false claims; not what providers may have thought after submitting them. The requirement to prove knowledge or “scienter,” said the Court, refers to providers’ knowledge and subjective beliefs; not to what objectively reasonable persons may have known or believed.


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