What Whistleblowers Need to Know about Healthcare Fraud
Fraud within the healthcare industry costs Americans more than $100 billion a year and causes harm to vulnerable segments of society such as seniors and those struggling with low income according to a recent CNNMoney report. Complaints filed and prosecuted by whistleblowers are the single most effective way to fight this type of fraud against the government, which make healthcare costly for so many people.
If you or someone close to you is thinking about becoming a whistleblower in a case of healthcare financial fraud, we invite you to call Montlick and Associates at 1-800-LAW NEED (1-800-529-6333) to learn about your rights and options. Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower in a healthcare fraud case can receive up to thirty percent of what the government recovers as a reward for the recapture of public funds. Our False Claim Act Lawyers can assist clients in filing whistleblower cases then coordinating or negotiating with the federal government.
Whistleblowers must have access to documents, witnesses or other evidence of fraudulent acts that reveal that the alleged wrongdoer is obtaining public funds based on false information, misrepresentations, overbilling, fraud and similar acts of financial impropriety. Naturally, many whistleblowers are nurses, doctors, pharmacists and those who work directly with patients. But those who work in hospital administration or other administrative positions can also act as a whistleblower, as can accountants, benefits officers and others who work in finance.
Some of the most frequently reported kinds of healthcare fraud involve Medicare, which is the federal government program that delivers healthcare assistance to the disabled and seniors over age 65. Many fraud cases also are reported against Medicaid, a program that provides healthcare assistance based on need for seniors or those with disabilities like paralysis or blindness.
Some people try to defraud the government simply by turning in a false claim for a non-existent illness or medical treatment. However, other schemes can be much more complicated and involve hundreds of pages of reports with fabricated hospital costs or medical claims. Claims research shows that medical billing fraud is the most common scheme reported in healthcare-related cases. This type of health care fraud involves falsifying billing codes that users have to include when they send in claims to the government. Some schemers will try to double bill for the same services or charge for medical devices or services that are not medically justified and/or provided to patients. Others try to "upgrade" an illness by exaggerating its severity and charging more for treatments and medications. Healthcare fraud can even involve kickback schemes where pharmaceutical companies try to pay doctors or nurses to refer patients to a specific drug or product. This is prohibited by the federal government by the Anti-Kickback Statute.
But mere discovery of ongoing healthcare fraud is only the beginning of a long and challenging process if you intend to pursue a whistleblower claim. It is vital to follow the complicated rules and deadlines involved in filing a claim. Critical mistakes can jeopardize your ability to pursue a claim or reduce the recovery you receive from the government. Clients who retain Montlick and Associates receive the benefit of an experienced healthcare fraud lawyer fighting for their rights as a whistleblower.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You
If you or your family member wish to blow the whistle, contact our Georgia false claim attorneys at Montlick & Associates for your free consultation. Our Attorneys have been representing families throughout Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.