Medicare Medicaid Billing Fraud

Medicare / Medicaid Billing Fraud

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Medicare Medicaid Billing Fraud Lawyers - Serving Sarasota, Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Tallahassee
It’s no secret that healthcare in the U.S. has become business, accounting for nearly $3 trillion dollars of annual revenue. The recent past has also seen the sale, expansion and consolidation of countless hospitals into much larger healthcare systems. Hospitals that once operated as non-profit healthcare providers are now operated as for-profit companies. Unfortunately, for the patients and the tax payers, some of these hospital systems have become known more for billing fraud than the medical services they offer.

According to a report by Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare and Medicaid billing fraud costs the tax payers almost $100 billion every year. The sheer size of the Medicare / Medicaid system makes it difficult for federal government oversight to identify and catch the culprits. To help combat the issue of Medicare / Medicaid billing fraud, the government employs the False Claims Act, also known as the Lincoln Law.

Medicare / Medicaid billing fraud cases filed under the False Claims Act are also known as qui tam cases. The problems with medical billing fraud have become so common that major changes were made to the False Claims Act in 1986 and again in 2009. These changes offer not only financial incentives, but job protections as well, for any whistleblower to come forward with knowledge of Medicare / Medicaid billing fraud. The financial incentives for plaintiffs bringing a successful claim under the False Claims Act are 15 to 30 percent of the funds recovered from the defendant. The financial compensation for the plaintiffs can be substantial. A 2010 case against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary returned an $81 million verdict.

The medical billing fraud lawyers of Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. represent plaintiffs in qui tam cases under the False Claims Act. If you or someone you know have knowledge of healthcare professionals committing Medicare / Medicaid fraud, call 866-802-8112 today or email the lawyers of Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. We offer no cost consultations for all qui tam claims. We also take Medicare / Medicaid billing fraud cases on a contingency basis. This means you owe us no attorney’s fees unless we settle your claim or win a favorable verdict in court.

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Recent False Claims Act News

Common False Claims Act Questions

You can click on any of the questions below to read the corresponding answers. If your question has not been answered below, feel free to contact our False Claims Act lawyers via email or you can call us toll free at (866) 802-8182. For all qui tam claims, we offer no cost initial consultations.

What compensation is offered by the False Claims Act?

Under the False Claim Act, the whistleblower can be eligible for compensation in the range of 15% to 30% of the funds recovered from the defendant. While all cases are different, some successful False Claims Act cases have yielded tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and damages. As an example, a recent qui tam case is South Carolina gave the whistleblower over $18 million in compensation.

How am I protected as a whistleblower?

This is one of the two most common questions for whistleblowers. Mainly, they’re concerned about the impact their decision will have on their career. The False Claims Act offers anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers. The law makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for exercising their legal rights under federal law. In addition, during the time that the government is investigating a qui tam claim, the identity of the whistleblower is protected by the “seal” provision of the law. The “seal” provision prohibits the government from disclosing the identity of the whistleblower without first getting court approval.

Despite these protections, some whistleblowers still suffer retaliation by their employers and even lose their jobs and professional reputations. The risks associated with qui tam claims are why the government offers such substantial compensation to whistleblowers. Even though the False Claims Act offers protections, it’s important for whistleblowers to choose their attorney wisely. The attorney you hire is your legal advocate. Your attorney’s job is to help build a solid qui tam claim and to protect you from retaliation.

How long do I have to file a qui tam claim?

As a rule, if you want to be eligible for compensation, you need to file a qui tam claim as quickly as possible. The False Claims Act has a “first to file” rule. This means that the first person to file the qui tam claim will most likely be the only one eligible for the financial compensation allowed under the False Claims Act. Despite this, you still need choose a qualified attorney and then work with that attorney to ensure your claim is organized and convincing. Your attorney will also help you understand the potential ramifications of your decision to become a whistleblower.

How long do qui tam claims take?

Generally, it’s going to take months or even years to resolve a whistleblower claim. It’s not going to be a fast process. Once the claim is filed, the government will initiate extensive investigations into the allegations you’ve made. Even if the investigations prove your claims to be true, more than likely you’ll be faced with lawsuits and court proceedings that move slowly and deliberately through the legal system. In short, it can take a very long time.

Should I tell anyone about my qui tam claim?

You should remain silent about your involvement in a qui tam claim. Remember, there is a “first to file” rule under the False Claims Act. Someone else could file a claim before you, ruining your chances for compensation. Additionally, the “seal” provision of the False Claims Act not only offers the whistleblower anonymity, it also prohibits them whistleblower from disclosing the claim exists during the government investigation, without prior approval from the court. Violating the terms of the “seal” provision can meant that you have forfeited your right to compensation at the end of the claim.

Can more than one person file a qui tam claim?

It is possible for multiple whistleblowers to jointly file a qui tam claim. If the claim results in a conviction, the multiple whistleblowers would each get a portion of the final compensation. However, multiple whistleblowers working together can have its advantages. If there are multiple employees and each have information about the claim that the other parties may not have access to, it’s possible to create a fuller and more accurate qui tam claim. Having multiple plaintiffs can also add more credibility to your case. This can possibly result in a better claim and ultimately a larger reward amount.

THE HIRING OF A LAWYER IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION THAT SHOULD NOT BE BASED SOLELY ON ADVERTISEMENTS.

Before you decide to hire a lawyer, ask us to send you no cost written information about our qualifications and experience, with no obligation to you. If a legal matter arises, please feel free to contact us We may be able to help.

Sarasota Office:

2 North Tamiami Trail, 5th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 951-1800
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Tallahassee Office:

2155 Delta Blvd, Suite 210-B
Tallahassee, Florida 32303

Toll Free: (877) 521-0890
Local: (850) 521-0890
Fax: (850) 521-0891

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Bradenton Office:

2401 Manatee Ave W.
Bradenton, FL 34205

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 748-8778
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Punta Gorda Office:

122 Nesbit Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 655-6910
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed