The State of California has joined a qui tam action against seven private laboratories to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in false claims submitted to the state’s Medi-Cal program for the poor, according to a March 20 press release by the California Office of Attorney General.
The lawsuit contends that the medical labs systematically overcharged the Medi-Cal program during the past 15 years. The defendants, including Quest Diagnostics and Laboratory Corporation of America, allegedly engaged in illegal kickbacks and overcharging the state by up to 400% for blood, urine and other lab tests. It is estimated that damages could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Filed under California’s False Claims Act, the qui tam lawsuit asks for relief in the amount of triple the amount of California’s damages, civil penalties of $10,000 for each false claim; and recovery of costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses.
This is one of the largest, if not the largest, single state qui tam intervention against multiple laboratories, in history.
To read the full press release, go to: http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id=1705&. For more about qui tam law and Healthcare Fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.
As Bernard Madoff was planning his guilty plea in a history-making fraud case, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary. L. Schapiro announced that the SEC is considering offering cash rewards to whistleblowers who expose financial wrongdoing, according to a March 12, 2009 Washington Times article. The practice of offering cash bounties to securities fraud whistleblowers would be similar to financial rewards given to people who help to expose insider-trading. Having this power, Schapiro said in the article, would enable the SEC to pursue cases more aggressively.
For the full article, go to: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/12/sec-considers-cash-bounties-to-whistleblowers/. and for more info on ARRA HITECH ACT.
For more about qui tam whistleblower law, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.
Weill Medical College of Cornell University has agreed to pay $2,606,751 to resolve civil charges that the New York City-based college defrauded the government in connection with federal research funds awarded under grants made by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A whistleblower, who filed a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act, first brought the case to government’s attention.
Weill Medical College made false statements to the NIH and the Department of Defense (DOD) in connection with the school’s federal grant applications. In particular, the principal research investigator who sought funding for the grants failed to disclose to the government the full extent of her various active research projects, according to a March 6, 2009 press release by the U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York.
For the complete release, go to http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/March09/weillmedicalcollegesettlementpr.pdf. For more information about the False Claims Act, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA .
The United States is intervening in a whistleblower suit that alleges that Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS) and three of its hospitals in New Mexico violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by presenting the government with false claims for federal matching Medicaid funds.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, which made this announcement March 6, 2009, the suit was filed under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the FCA by Robert Baker, a former revenue manager in CHS’s corporate office.
The relator’s complaint alleges that, beginning in 2000, CHS and its hospitals improperly obtained federal funds through the New Mexico Sole Community Provider Fund (SCPF) and Sole Community Hospital Supplemental Payments (SCHSP) Medicaid programs.
To review the DOH press release, go to http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/March/09-civ-200.html. Or, for more information about the False Claims Act or qui tam whistleblower law, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.