Whistleblowers that helped uncover violations of the False Claims Act in 2015 were rewarded for their efforts with nearly $600 million, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Justice. The government reports that 638 lawsuits were brought under the False Claims Act in 2015, yielding $2.8 billion in settlements. The majority of those cases – roughly $1.9 billion worth, according to the U.S. Department of Justice – involved settlements of health care fraud allegations. Pursuant to amendments made to the False Claims Act in 1986 a whistleblower who reveals a violation of the statute is entitled to up to 30% of any settlement or judgment funds which later ensue.
Since its inception, the False Claims Act has led to the recovery of some $26.4 billion by the federal government. The law rewards whistleblowers for coming forward with evidence that another entity has defrauded the government for funds or property under various governmental programs, including fraudulent requests for research grants, disaster assistance and – more often than not – false claims for Medicare and Medicaid. Our Philadelphia health care lawyers note that when making an allegation of a False Claims Act violation, a whistleblower must bring their lawsuit on behalf of the government.
In 2015, hospitals accounted for nearly $330 million in settlements and judgments. In one noteworthy case, a cardiac nurse and health care reimbursement consultant jointly sued hundreds of hospitals accused of bypassing criteria established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the implantation of cardiac devices in Medicare patients. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the cases were settled for $250 million. The government also settled allegations that a leading provider of dialysis services violated the False Claims Act by billing for costs which were avoidable. DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. – with clinics in 46 states, along with the District of Columbia – agreed to pay the government $450 million in connection with its alleged over-billing, as well as $350 million amid allegations it paid physicians kickbacks for patient referrals.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Defend Healthcare Providers
Allegations of a False Claims Act violation must be taken seriously. For over 35 years, our Philadelphia health care lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have provided physicians, hospitals and other health care providers with unrivaled representation in court. If you have been accused of violating the False Claims Act call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in our Philadelphia offices, where we serve clients throughout Southeast Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey and New York.