The U.S. Department of Justice announced on December 21, 2018 that the Department obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018. Recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $59 billion.
Of the $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments recovered by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year, $2.5 billion involved the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians. This is the ninth consecutive year that the Department’s civil health care fraud settlements and judgments have exceeded $2 billion. The recoveries included in the $2.5 billion reflect only federal losses but, in many of these cases, the Department was instrumental in recovering additional millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs.
In addition to combating health care fraud, the False Claims Act serves as the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for federal funds and property involving a multitude of government operations and contracts. These areas range from defense and national security to import tariffs and small business programs.
In 1986, Congress strengthened the Act by increasing incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. These whistleblower, or qui tam, actions comprise a significant percentage of the False Claims Act cases that are filed. If the government prevails in a qui tam action, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, receives up to 30 percent of the recovery. Whistleblowers filed 645 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2018.
Of the $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments reported by the government in fiscal year 2018, over $2.1 billion arose from lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. During the same period, the government paid out $301 million to the individuals who exposed fraud and false claims by filing these actions.
If you have information regarding false claims having been submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, other federal health care programs, or to other federal agencies/programs, and the information is not publically known and no actions have been taken by the government with regard to recovering the false claims, you should promptly consult with a False Claims Act attorney (also known as qui tam attorneys) in your U.S. state who may investigate the basis of your False Claims Act allegations and who may also assist you in bringing a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the United States, if appropriate, for which you may be entitled to receive a portion of the recovery received by the U.S. government.
Email us at email@example.com or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find qui tam lawyers who may handle your False Claims Act matter on a contingency basis.
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