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Oct 13, 2021 by |

Marin County Whistleblower Attorney: Home Health Agency Pays $17 Million To Resolve False Claims Act Allegations For Paying Kickback

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegations Of Illegal Kickbacks

Agency Allegedly Paid Kickbacks To Retirement Communities

Former Director Of Strategic Growth Blows Whistle

Private individuals with credible information of fraud can bring whistleblower suits (known as qui tam cases) under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seqQui tam suits in fact recover most of the money fraudulently paid out by the government every year.  This includes over $1.2 billion recovered in the health care industry.  Defrauding healthcare providers which include home care agencies, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, clinics, labs, hospitals, retirement communities, therapy providers, and physician groups.  As a reward for bringing qui tam cases, whistleblowers recover anywhere from 15% to 30% of the damages and penalties or settlement once the government recovers. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  If you have credible information of fraud against the government in Marin County, San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Recent Settlement

A recent Press Release by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with a home health care agency of False Claims Act allegations of illegal kickbacks brought against the agency in a qui tam case.[1]  The specific allegations were that the agency violated the FCA and the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, by paying a kickback to a retirement home operator by purchasing two of the operator’s home health agencies.  The government alleged that the defendant bought the local agencies to induce the retirement community to refer Medicare beneficiaries who lived in the operator’s retirement communities to defendant for home health care services.  The government alleged that for years the company submitted false claims for payment to Medicare for services provided to beneficiaries referred to the company as a result of the kickback transaction.  The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits parties who participate in federal health care programs from knowingly and willfully offering, paying or receiving any remuneration in order to induce the recommendation of any item for which payment is made in whole or in part under a covered federal health care program. The prohibition extends to asset purchases that are intended to induce referrals.

Remedies Against Employer Retaliation

The claims against the company were brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by a former director of strategic growth for the defendant between 2009 and 2016. The relator will receive more than $3 million from the settlement. The False Claims Act protects current directors employees against retaliation from their employers for blowing the whistle on fraud against the government. 31 U.S.C. § 3730 (h).  Despite the legal prohibition employers continue to retaliate against whistleblowers.  The law allows employee whistleblowers to fight back. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).  If you are fired because you brought any fraud to light, you may be entitled to sue your employer in court and seek double back pay (with interest), reinstatement, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement for certain costs in connection with the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(2). Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent you in any action for retaliation as well as represent you in your underlying whistleblower application.

Contact Us

If you have credible information of fraud against Medicare or Medi-Cal in San Francisco, Marin County or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  In addition to FCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid also handles bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way. 

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