The Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund has released a new report concluding that every dollar the government invests in the investigation and prosecution of federal health care fraud returns at least 20 dollars back to the American people. In the report, “Fighting Medicare and Medicaid Fraud: The Return on Investment from False Claims Act Partnerships,” Dr. Jack Meyer, a health care economist, looked at the total costs of federal health care investigation and compared them to the amount of money returned to the United States treasury.
Dr. Meyers concluded that in the five-year period from 2008 to 2012, the Federal government has spent $574.6 million to investigate and prosecute civil health care related fraud. According to the report, this has resulted in a total of $9.384 billion being recovered. This calculation does not include the $9 billion recovery from criminal fines or from state recoveries under the False Claims Act cases. When considering the federal and state criminal charges brought under the False Claims Act, Dr. Meyers concluded that the benefit-to-cost ratio of False Claims Act law enforcement exceeds 20 to 1. It’s very clear that civil health care fraud is an area where the federal government is recovering a great deal more than it is spending.
With returns like the ones listed above, the impact of the False Claims Act can’t be underestimated. Major settlements under the False Claims Act work as a deterrent. The possibility of fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs is lessened. Since 1986, when the penalties under the False Claims Act were strengthened, cases involving health care fraud whistleblowers have increased. In 2012, whistleblowers received $284 million of the $2.5 billion recovered in health care fraud settlements involving whistleblowers.
Lawyers in the Consumer Fraud Section at Beasley Allen continue to investigate fraud committed against both the federal and state governments. Anyone who knows of fraudulent activities should step forward and become a whistleblower. Potential whistleblowers have the right to not be retaliated against for doing the right thing and reporting the fraud they have witnessed. Anyone considering doing the right thing and blowing the whistle are strongly urged to seek legal advice before doing so.
Lawyers in our Consumer Fraud Section are very familiar with the federal False Claims Act and its state counterparts and can guide whistleblowers through the process. If you have any information and would like to speak with a lawyer, contact Larry Golston, Lance Gould, Archie Grubb, Chad Stewart or Andrew Brashier, lawyers in our Consumer Fraud Section, at Larry.Golston@beasleyallen.com, Lance.Gould@beasleyallen.com, Archie.Grubb@beasleyallen.com, Chad.Stewart@beasleyallen.com, or Andrew.Brashier@beasleyallen.com at 800-898-2034 or 334-269-2343.
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