The federal government provides subsidized healthcare to millions of Americans through the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Every year, the government spends around $4 trillion providing these services to its citizens.
Because of this immense expenditure, it is understandable that the government takes a substantial interest in combating fraud. The False Claims Act prohibits any person or company from making a knowingly false claim for benefits. If a person comes forward with evidence of fraud that leads to a conviction, those parties can collect a reward through a Qui Tam claim.
A Columbia Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawyer could help individuals to serve as whistleblowers when they observe these illegal acts. This includes filing an initial report, requesting an award through Qui Tam, and protecting people against potential retaliation.
Federal law expressly prohibits acts of fraud against the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Specifically, the False Claims Act, 31 United States Code § 3729, says that it is illegal for any person to knowingly submit an illegal claim for benefits or payment under any government program. Medicare and Medicaid certainly fall under this umbrella.
It is essential to remember that the concept of fraud requires proof of intent. A mistake or error on a Medicaid form does not fit this definition. Instead, there must be evidence that a person intended to take funds from the government through deceit or misdirection. A Columbia Medicare and Medicaid fraud attorney could provide more information about violations of the False Claims Act.
The government wishes to incentivize people to come forward as whistleblowers. In addition to this being the right thing to do, whistleblowers can submit writs of Qui Tam for a reward.
These rewards are only available under specific circumstances. They can result when an investigation results in a conviction that recovers funds for the government. In addition, this investigation must center around new information that the whistleblower provides.
According to 31 United States Code § 3730(c)(5), this reward will be between 15 and 25 percent of the money recovered in the case. A Columbia Medicare and Medicaid fraud Qui Tam attorney could help parties to file these requests.
Coming forward as a whistleblower can be intimidating. Especially if a violating party is an employer, the threat of losing one’s job or other negative results can be discouraging.
While it is impossible to predict whether retaliation will occur, there is no doubt that these actions are illegal. Federal law strictly prohibits retaliation against any party serving as a whistleblower or any individual assisting with a government investigation. A Medicare and Medicaid fraud attorney in Columbia could help to protect whistleblowers against these illegal activities.
Healthcare fraud that steals from Medicare and Medicaid is a constant threat. The government relies on accurate accounting to make proper payments and to balance the budget. As such, the False Claims Act prohibits the knowing action of defrauding the government’s healthcare programs.
A Columbia Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawyer is prepared to stand by your side while you report this illegal activity. This includes filing an initial report, requesting a reward through a writ of Qui Tam, and protecting you from any potential retaliation. Reach out today to learn more.