The Martin Law Firm is a successful and experienced health law firm representing whistleblowers in qui tam actions under the federal False Claims Act.
If you have knowledge of any type of Medicare or other health care fraud perpetrated against the government, the Martin Law Firm has the resources and experience to handle your case and help you maximize your whistleblower reward.
Health Care Fraud
Health care fraud is rampant across the United States, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Federally funded health care programs like Medicare lack the resources to thoroughly root out fraud and abuse, providing unethical health care providers with many opportunities to defraud the government. As a result, both the federal and state governments must rely largely on honest individuals of conscience to report health care fraud by utilizing the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Whistleblowers are a crucial asset to our country, and therefore the applicable law provides significant whistleblower protection to those who come forward as well as lucrative whistleblower rewards.
Qui Tam | The False Claims Act
Qui tam is a provision in the False Claims Act that encourages private citizens, through a qualified qui tam lawyer, to file lawsuits on behalf of the government to recover money damages sustained by the government as a result of fraud. In the health care industry, this generally means that a health care provider, hospital or other entity has submitted false claims to government health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Relators | Whistleblower Lawsuits
The whistleblower who files a lawsuit on behalf of the government is called a relator. The relator does not need to have been personally injured by the fraud or false claim to file the lawsuit; however, to initiate a qui tam claim, a relator must have knowledge that the defendant engaged in fraud against the federal government. In the health care industry, this usually translates to submitting false claims to federally funded health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
A relator may be any individual who has intimate knowledge of the instances of fraud. Relators can be employees or former employees of the company that committed the fraud, competitors, or even patients.
Whistleblower Rewards Under the False Claims Act
In order to be eligible to recover money under the False Claims Act, you must file a whistleblower qui tam lawsuit. Simply informing the government about the fraud is not enough.
The False Claims Act provides whistleblowers with a strong incentive for their courageous efforts to disclose instances of fraud against the government. In 1986, Congress amended the False Claims Act and increased the reward for whistleblowers to 15-30% of the total recovery from the defendant, whether through a favorable verdict or a settlement. Since 1986, qui tam whistleblower lawsuits have recovered over $13 billion, with over $2 billion paid to relators.
A health care defendant found liable in a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit is subject to treble damages – that is, three (3) times the amount of money damages that the government sustains as a result of the fraud and/or false claims. Each separate false claim for payment constitutes a separate claim for which a civil penalty may be imposed.
Your Rights – Whistleblower Protection Under the False Claims Act
A moderate degree of whistleblower protection is included under the False Claims Act. A qui tam lawsuit is filed “under seal,” which means that your identity and the lawsuit itself are kept secret from everyone but the government so that the Justice Department can investigate the fraud allegations. The defendant, nor anyone else, is made aware that you have filed the lawsuit during this period. After the conclusion of the government investigation, typically years later, the lawsuit will be made public.
Additionally, the “whistleblower protection” provision of the False Claims Act (Section 3730 (h)) provides that an employee who is discharged, demoted, threatened, or in any other manner discriminated against by his or her employer because of lawful acts done by the employee in furtherance of an action under the False Claims Act is entitled to special protection. Protection afforded to qui tam whistleblowers includes reinstatement (with the same seniority status), double the amount of back pay, interest on back pay and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs and attorney’s fees.
Important Deadlines for Whistleblower Qui Tam Lawsuits
If the government or another private individual has already filed a False Claims Act lawsuit based on the same allegations that you are aware of, your lawsuit will be subject to dismissal. This provision in the law is known as the “first-to-file” bar. Therefore, in most circumstances, it is important to file a qui tam lawsuit as soon as possible.
Under the False Claims Act, an action must be filed within the later of the following: (a) six years from the date of the violation; or (b) three (3) years after the government knows or should have known about the violation, but in no event longer than 10 years after the violation of the act.
Experienced Qui Tam Representation – Serving Clients Nationwide
If you have knowledge of an instance of health care fraud, your knowledge may enable you to be a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. Once an individual has evidence of health care fraud against the government and decides to blow the whistle, he or she needs to find a qui tam lawyer to represent him or her.
The Martin Law Firm is a Pennsylvania health law firm that actively represents whistleblowers nationwide in False Claims Act cases. An experienced qui tam attorney at the Martin Law Firm can help build your case and file a successful qui tam whistleblower lawsuit. We have the skills necessary to provide you with complete whistleblower protection while maximizing your compensation.
If you have knowledge of a fraud or false claim against the government, please contact our qui tam lawyers today. An experienced health law attorney from the Martin Law Firm will consult with you about your case with no obligation. All communications with the Martin Law Firm attorneys during these consultation services will be kept completely confidential. Contact the Martin Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.