The US Justice Department says that 636 qui tam complaints were filed for fiscal year 2011, resulting in $2.8B recovered. Of the more than $3B involving the False Claims Act that resulted in settlements and judgments from fraud cases, $2.4 billion was related to fraud committed against a number of federal programs, including Medicare, TRICARE, and Medicaid. Usually, no more than 400 whistleblower cases are filed annually.
$2.2B was recovered from civil claims made against pharmaceutical companies alone. GlaxoSmithKline PLC agreed to pay $750 million to settle allegations involving false claims related to medications and adulterate drugs that didn’t satisfy FDA specification. $900 million came from drug companies accused of engaging in unlawful pricing to up their profits.
The False Claim Act
Federal and state False Claims Acts cover fraud committed against any state or federal funded program or contract. Since amendments were made to the federal False Claims Act in 1986, the US Justice Department has gotten back more than $30 billion. The amendments provided stronger incentives for whistleblowers to come forward and file lawsuits on behalf of the government. A whistleblower could end up entitled to up to 30% of what the government recovers.
Kinds of fraud that fall under the False Claims Act include those involving:
• Billing for goods the buyer never received • Billing for services that were never rendered Falsifying testing data or results • Falsifying employee records • Performing unnecessary medical treatments on Medicaid/Medicare patients
Justice Department Recovers $3 Billion in False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2011, US Department of Justice, December 19, 2011
Qui Tam Action, Legal Information Institute
More Blog Posts:
Whistleblower Lawsuit: Hospice Care Provider Vitas Healthcare Accused of Medicare Fraud, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 27, 2011
Medicare Fraud?: Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and Aetna Under Scrutiny for Possible Kickback Violations, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 22, 2011
Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses Florida Hospital of Defrauding Medicare of $2M, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2011
Contact Altman & Altman LLP and ask to speak with one of our Boston injury lawyers to find out if you have a Massachusetts whistleblower case on your hands.