June 12, 2013 — Health care insiders help the Justice Department to return millions of stolen dollars to the federal coffers each year through the use of the False Claims Act. The qui tam language of the Act allows health care professionals and employees who uncover Medicare scams to bring a lawsuit against the wrongdoers for the government’s benefit. As a result of the suit, whistleblowers retain a portion of the amount the government receives. While anyone who has unique information about Medicare fraud is authorized to file a lawsuit, insiders are most likely to spot fraud first and collaborate with the government to end it.
Detroit Home Health Companies Submit False Claims to Medicare
In the continuing story of a $24 million Medicare fraud scam involving home health care in Detroit, Dana Sharma has pleaded guilty for her part in the conspiracy. From January 2007 to May 2012, Sharma was employed by at least two ostensible home health companies for which she submitted false claims for home health services to Medicare. While working for Reliance Home Care LLC and First Choice Home Health Care Services Inc., Sharma maintained company records, including patient files, which Sharma knew contained phony patient visit notes to give the false impression that the companies had actually provided home health care to home-bound patients. In reality, the “care” given was either medically unnecessary or not given at all. Sharma admitted to knowing that the falsified records were being used to submit false claims to Medicare.
Sharma’s conduct resulted in Medicare paying more than $900,000 to the two purported home health care companies. Other conspirators, including one nurse involved in the conspiracy, have already pleaded guilty. At sentencing, Sharma could receive a ten year prison term and a $250,000 fine.
Tipsters in False Claims Act Lawsuits Frequently Health Care Insiders
Rampant Medicare fraud like that uncovered in the Detroit home health care scam often comes to light when courageous insiders take action. The whistleblower lawyers at Waters & Kraus know that it is difficult to notify the government when your employer is involved in False Claims Act violations. Tipsters who work with the Justice Department to end Medicare fraud deserve to know their own rights before they step forward. With offices across the country, Waters & Kraus gives whistleblowers the knowledgeable legal representation they need. Contact us by email or phone our qui tam attorneys at 855.784.0268 to discuss how we can advance and protect your interests.