Fraudulent billing practices by medical professionals and hospitals result in billions of dollars in lost tax funds annually. There are a wide variety of practices used that result in medical providers effectively stealing public funds including billing for medical procedures that are not needed, inflated (i.e. padded) billing, double billing, the practice of upcoding, billing for medical equipment that has been returned or never provided, kickbacks and manipulation of outlier payments. These types of fraudulent practices result in billions of dollars per year in lost taxpayer dollars and can be extremely difficult to expose without the assistance of an insider like a nurse, billing administrator, physician or other medical professional with evidence and knowledge of the fraudulent billing practices.
If you have knowledge of these types of fraudulent billing practices, you are certainly in a difficult position because you may be afraid that if you expose these fraudulent billing practices you may suffer retaliation from your employer including termination. It is even possible that you are afraid that you will find it difficult to find new employment because your current employer may blacklist you with other hospitals or medical practices. Fortunately, the Federal False Claims Act provides brave and conscientious employees who expose unethical and illegal practices that result in the theft of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds annually with protection from such retribution. Another reason to disclose these practices is that remaining quiet may expose you to potential criminal and civil liability. The government is becoming increasingly aggressive in prosecuting those who commit Medicare fraud. The government will not only pursue your employer but you too may be liable for failing to report Medicare fraud.
Because Medicare fraud cheats the government out of billions of dollars in public funds, a person who brings a Qui Tam lawsuit under the Federal False Claims Act and exposes fraudulent Medicare billing practices is compensated with up to 30 percent of the potential recovery. If you know that a medical office, medical professional or hospital is committing Medicare fraud, our experienced whistleblower claims attorneys help heroic citizens who expose these illegal schemes by filing a Qui Tam lawsuit. The reason that whistleblowers are so critical in exposing these fraudulent billing schemes is that the Medicare process usually results in little scrutiny for fraud prior to paying submitted billings.
The federal government has increased efforts to expose Medicare fraud resulting in recovering over $2.5 billion in Medicare overpayment in a recent twelve-month period. During 2009, the federal government recovered $1.63 billion in through negotiated settlements and judgements while 1,014 new health care fraud investigations were initiated involving 1,786 defendants. Courageous citizens who step forward and provide evidence of these fraudulent billing practices are an indispensable element in protecting the public from having hard earned tax dollars stolen resulting in a need to increase revenue, which may include tax increases, or cost cutting of vital Medicare benefits.
The HCA Inc (The Healthcare Company) case is a good example of the scope of recovery both for the government and the Qui Tam claimant (called the “Relator”) in a Qui Tam lawsuit. The company agreed to repay the government $1.7 billion in a Qui Tam lawsuit for fraudulent billing of Medicare and other federal health care programs. The whistleblowers that exposed the fraudulent billing practices and brought the Qui Tam lawsuit received over $150 million dollars for exposing the conduct of the company that cheated taxpayers.
While the relator initiates a Medicare Qui Tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, the lawsuit is initially filed under seal for sixty days so that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can determine if it wants to intervene and prosecute the Qui Tam case. The relator will still receive a percentage of the recovery if the DOJ decides to intervene. The percentage recovered by the relator ranges from 15-30 percent based on whether the government intervenes and takes over prosecution of the case. If the government does not intervene during the sixty day period, the relator may continue to pursue the claim, and the exact percentage received as a reward by the relator in the Qui Tam lawsuit will depend on the significance of the relator’s role and level of assistance.
The Medicare Qui Tam claims attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC represent patriotic citizens who expose illegal theft of public funds and protect taxpayers. We assist clients who have evidence of Medicare fraud in bringing Qui Tam lawsuits to expose this illegal activity and protect the public. Barrett Law PLLC recognizes the essential function of those who come forward despite fear of retribution to reveal Medicare fraud and recover vital public funds. We represent whistleblowers throughout The United States who initiate Qui Tam prosecutions in complying with the procedures of bringing a Qui Tam claim and handling the litigation if the government does not intervene so call us today at 662-834-2376.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)