How can you Blow the Whistle and file a Qui Tam Lawsuit?
In order to bring most qui tam or whistleblower lawsuits under the law you must use private counsel. While there are some matters you can bring without a qui tam attorney, federal False Claims Act (FCA) and/or various whistleblower state laws concerning the reporting of fraud in healthcare programs like Medicare, Medicaid and/or state law health care programs generally require a whistleblower lawyer to be involved. Based on the False Claims Act and other statutes your lawsuit may be viewed as a public good and as a reward you may be eligible for
roughly 15–30% of the amount the government recovers, but that will be based on a variety of factors, such as the extent of the involvement, quality of the information, and the length of time the fraud occurred without you reporting it. Further, the First to File rule means the first person to blow the whistle may be entitled to an award, but even if you’re a day late you are not entitled to anything. Before you proceed with a lawsuit, you should be aware of a few things.
FOCUS on What theFALSE CLAIMActually is
The False Claim must be a materially false submission to the government for payment and it must make the payment. It sounds simple, but break down, what is false about the submission and did the government actually pay it. Since it is a fraudulent act, you must be able to specifically articulate the wrongful act, but a skilled qui tam lawyer or whistleblower law firm can assist with that.
Don’t INTERVIEW WITNESSESYourself
As any whistleblower law firm will tell you, the Department of Justice (DOJ)looks to corroborate your allegations and will consider who else can support your allegations. If there are witnesses, at some point you may share their contact information with the government. However, by contacting them yourself you run the risk of turning them into Medicare whistleblowers. If they file first, your lawsuit can be barred by False Claims Act’s “first to file” provision.
Try to QUANTIFYthe EXTENT ofthe FALSE CLAIMS
One of the questions the government will want to know is how much fraud has gone on. Qui Tam litigation is a matter of prioritization and the bigger the fraud, the more likely the government will dedicate resources to investigating and stopping it. As a rule of the fraud is in the mid seven figure range or above the government may intervene in a strong case. Below seven figures, it is doubtful they will undertake the matter and from 1 million to 5 million questionable. Still, no matter what the extent of the fraud is you should speak with a whistle blower firm to understand your rights.
Fraud against the government is rampant but intervention only occurs in a fraction of cases. Often the amount of money the government can recover is the most compelling factor. You may want to consult a whistleblower lawyer for a more realistic assessment of recoverable damages. Also, things don’t happen right away. There’s a lot of hurry up and wait.
Seek thePROFESSIONALADVICE of aQUI TAM LAWYER
Navigating the statutes is complicated work. You need to comply with the pre-filing prerequisites and file the matter under seal. If you don’t file it properly, you may have inadvertently not blown the whistle, but instead blown your chance for a recovery. With Medicare whistleblower actions it is doubtful that you will be able to stay anonymous from start to finish, although initially your identity will be concealed until the lawsuit is unsealed. With SEC matters, you can blow the whistle yourself, but you can not remain anonymous. Many SEC whistleblowers come to us after they attempted to do it by themselves and have already damaged their case, sometimes beyond repair.
Sometimes the Medicare fraud is so rampant that the industry treats the fraud as the norm. For example, a medical facility may consistently upcode a procedure and lead you to believe that is the acceptable industry practice. It is not! In our experience, the median medical fraud whistleblower needs to have an epiphany or show a more acute awareness towards the law and is better
educated than the average person on the street. Despite higher-than-average education, Medicare whistleblowers need to tread down this path cautiously. Extensive personal research and a reliable Medicare whistleblower law firm can help here.
Our firm is only paid if we win your case. We spend our time and money investigating the matter and if we don’t prevail, you don’t owe us anything at all. Call the whistleblower lawyers at Brown, LLC, 24/7 at (877) 561-0000 to help you work through the entire qui tam process so that you can be confident of making an informed decision based on your best interests. We protect the whistleblower.