Former Employee to Share in $6.5 Million Home Healthcare Fraud Settlement
A licensed practical nurse has earned the right to a whistleblower reward after her former employer, Friendship Healthcare Services, paid $6.5 million to settle claims that it submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.
The former employee brought her claims under the False Claims Act. The law allows private citizens to earn whistleblower rewards by providing evidence that helps the government uncover Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
The settlement resolves claims that the home healthcare company submitted false claims for private duty nursing services that were provided by employees who were excluded from government healthcare programs or whose nursing license had lapsed. The lawsuit also alleged that the home healthcare company submitted claims without the proper documentation and, in some instances, submitted documentation with forged signatures.
"Fraud involving home health services is a major problem," said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. "Patients are particularly vulnerable in a home-based setting because there is often no one looking over the provider's shoulder."
The exact amount of the whistleblower's reward has not yet been determined. According to John Howley, a whistleblower lawyer in New York, the False Claims Act provides for rewards of between 15% and 30% of the amount the government recovers. "The whistleblower rewards are a significant incentive," Howley said, "but most whistleblowers are also motivated by a desire to help the government stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud."
If you have evidence of false claims submitted to Medicare or Medicaid, then you should consult with an experienced whistleblower lawyer immediately. The law is complicated, and only the first whistleblower to come forward is entitled to a reward.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728.