U.S. Sen. Grassley Works to Strengthen False Claims Act

In May 2009, the President signed the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley and Senators Patrick Leahy and Ted Kaufman, made major changes to strengthen the federal False Claims Act by removing liability loopholes and addressing statutory confusion. Additional related, though less extensive changes, were made as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in March 2010, Grassley is now working to make sure that the recent changes made to the federal False Claims Act are recognized and incorporated by the 14 states that already have OIG-approved state False Claims Acts.

Consistency by a state with the Federal False Claims Act, is a requirement for a large federal incentive afforded to the state, when Medicaid dollars are successfully recovered in a Federal False Claims Act lawsuit. The federal incentive allows states to receive an additional 10% of the Medicaid recoveries if they allow whistleblower/qui tam lawsuits in their state False Claims Acts, as long as the state False Claims Acts afford the same rights to whistleblowers as the federal False Claims Act does.

In an April 28, 2010 press release , Grassley asked the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to review existing state False Claims Acts, to make sure they are in compliance with recent changes to the federal False Claims Act; and to issue appropriate guidance for any state interested in the federal incentive.. In addition to the 14 states which have already qualified for this incentive (and are now subject to this review), six states applied for it but did not meet the requirements.

For the full press release, go to: http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=194624. For more information about qui tam law and health care fraud, contact Nolan & Auerbach, PA.