False Claims Act Offers Rewards to Second-Filers Who Expose Different Fraud Schemes

According to his False Claims Act qui tam complaint, Dr. Mark Novick discovered that his employer had a practice of bundling certain tests so that physicians had no choice but to order unnecessary tests. It also submitted claims for 3D reconstructions of CT scans that were never performed or interpreted. He learned of these practices during his tenure as Associate Medical Director of Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services. A few months after Dr. Novick filed his qui tam lawsuit, another relator filed a separate qui tam lawsuit, alleging that Doshi violated the Anti-kickback statute by paying physicians based on the number of patient referrals.

The Justice Department ultimately intervened and resolved both qui tam actions for a total of $15.5 million. Notably, the settlement agreement included allegations from both qui tam complaints, and the two relators received comparable relators’ shares of over $1 million.

This successful recovery of government healthcare dollars is a great reminder that it oftentimes takes a small village of qui tam relators to fully detail the various fraud schemes employed by FCA defendants. Indeed, while the False Claims Act includes a first-to-file bar to award the first qui tam relator, it is fashioned to encourage second-filers to step forward against the same defendant when they have allegations involving a different fraud scheme.

More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach & White website.

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