Healthcare fraud against private insurers and government entitlement programs is estimated to cost the country $80 billion a year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If you are aware of a scheme using the healthcare system to defraud the U.S. government, you should seek advice from an experienced whistleblower attorney. At Jeremiah A. Denton III, P.C., we help people understand their legal options in exposing healthcare fraud. In some instances, it is possible to file a qui tam lawsuit where you assist the government in recovering lost funds and receive a share of the recovery. We also help you assert your rights under federal law to whistleblower protection so that your job remains secure or you receive appropriate compensation. Healthcare fraud hurts all Americans, especially senior citizens and the poor. By blowing the whistle on a dishonest healthcare provider, you can have a positive impact in this crucial area.
Medicare and Medicaid are federal government programs designed to help vulnerable citizens — seniors citizens and the poor — access medical services. When fraudsters steal from these programs, they hurt the government’s ability to address crucial societal needs. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare fraud falls into three major categories of improper overpayment:
These fraud rates are lower than those of other government programs, such as disaster relief, Earned Income Tax Credits, the federal school lunch program, and unemployment insurance, but because Medicare is such a widely used program, the overall dollars lost for Medicare are greater. The rate of overpayment for government programs is currently on the rise, led by programs like Medicare. Medicaid is also vulnerable to scams as healthcare providers bill the government for services patients either did not receive or did not need.
The U.S. government has been actively trying to recover healthcare funds lost due to fraud and abuse under the False Claims Act. In a five-year period from 2008 to 2012, the federal government spent more than $5 million to prosecute civil claims, but recovered more than $9 billion. It collected more than $4.5 billion in criminal prosecutions.
These recoveries represent a significant return on investment for Uncle Sam, so the government has set up a mechanism for citizens to report fraud. For example, Medicare.gov invites whistleblowers to submit information on suspected fraud for a reward of up to $1,000. However, that is very little when you consider the False Claims Act allows qui tam plaintiffs to receive 15 to 25 percent of the amount the government recovers in a case. That’s why, if you have actionable information, you should contact an experienced Virginia whistleblower attorney right away.
If you have information about healthcare fraud against the government or a private insurance company, our attorneys can evaluate your information and advise you on the best way to proceed. We accept federal qui tam cases, and we fight to win. To schedule an appointment with a trustworthy attorney at Jeremiah A. Denton III, P.C., call 757-215-4818 or contact our Virginia Beach office online.
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