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Oct 20, 2021 by |

Orange County Elder Abuse And Whistleblower Attorney: Elder Care Home Health Agency Pays $17 Million To Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Elder Residents In Retirement Communities Targeted

Allegations Of Kickbacks For Elder Referrals

Whistleblower Is Former Director

Healthcare fraud, including fraud against Medicare and Medicaid, is the biggest kind of fraud perpetrated against the government.  When the targeted patients are elders, such fraud cases may also constitute elder abuse under the California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Protection Act, Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15600 et seq.  Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud often overlaps with elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted care facilities. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents California seniors who have suffered elder abuse and individuals with credible information of fraud against government-sponsored healthcare programs like Medicare and Medi-Cal. The whistleblower suit (known as qui tam cases) for the Medicare/Medi-Cal fraud aspect of any fraud against elder patients would be brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., and the California act.   See Cal. Gov’t Code § 12650 et seq. (California False Claims Act). Both acts offer sizeable awards to whistleblowers.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)(federal rewards); Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(g).  If you have credible information of elder, Medicare fraud in Orange County, Los Angeles, 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 Of Allegations Against Care Agency

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently 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 complaint, brought by a former director of growth for the care agency, alleged that the agency violated the FCA and the Anti-Kickback Statute[2], 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, by paying a kickback to a retirement communities operator by purchasing two of the operator’s home health agencies.  The government alleged that the defendant bought the local agencies from the retirement community business to induce that business to refer elderly Medicare beneficiaries who lived in the operator’s retirement communities to defendant for home health care services.  The purchase of the care agencies run by the retirement community constituted a kickback to the retirement community for future referrals, according to the government.  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 that kickback transaction. 

False Claims And Elder Abuse

Patients and employees may have information of abuse and government fraud.  Our attorneys will pursue all available remedies to any plaintiffs injured by abuse or impacted by fraud.  If you are an employee with information of Medi-Cal or Medicare fraud, State and federal laws protect you from retaliation by your employer from bringing a qui tam case.  Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653; 31 U.S.C. § 3730 (h).  Despite the legal prohibition employers continue to retaliate against whistleblowers.  State and federal laws allow you to fight back and 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); Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653. 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 Orange County, Los Angeles 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. 

[2] 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.

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