July 8, 2013 — Uncovering health care fraud is critical, and the U.S. Justice Department depends on information provided by tipsters to uncover misconduct. When the fraud is against the U.S. government, the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act permit whistleblowers to file suit against the wrongdoer on behalf of the federal government. A whistleblower who uncovers overbilling against government agencies may then receive a portion of any money recovered by the government through the lawsuit. Insiders like employees may collaborate with authorities to fight unethical companies and protect taxpayer money.
Doctor Accused of Charging for Services Not Provided
Subir Maitra, a urologist practicing in Illinois and Indiana has been indicted on federal health care charges. He is accused of inflating his bills by charging his patients for tests he did not perform, according to the NWI Times. He imported patients by transporting them on buses from Chicago to medical centers in Northwest Indiana, where he performed urological surgeries. According to the federal indictment, most of the patients involved spoke very little English and had private health insurance, making them a vulnerable group.
Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are often the victims of the same sort of fraud—so that government agencies like Medicaid or Medicare are charged for services that were not actually provided or were medically unnecessary. Authorities recommend that beneficiaries check their statements carefully to confirm that they have received the services charged.
Tipsters Notify the Government of Fraud and Help Protect Taxpayer Funds
False Claims Act violations involving overbilling or fraudulent reporting to Medicare or Medicaid are too common. If patients realize that Medicare or Medicaid is being charged for services they did not actually receive, they can serve as informants or tipsters that help the government hold the wrongdoers accountable. Whistleblowers need to understand their rights under the False Claims Act, however, before coming forward to notify the authorities of fraud. The whistleblower lawyers with Waters & Kraus provide whistleblowers the legal counsel they need. Contact us by email or phone our False Claims Act attorneys at 855.784.0268 to find out more about our qui tam practice.