What is a Kickback?
A kickback is generally defined as a transaction wherein a pharmaceutical institution, hospital, care provider or physician provides an incentive to patients, providers, and other individuals, to encourage or refer patients to visit their facility or use their services. These incentives can be in the form of payments, benefits, goods and/or medicines. Kickbacks are a direct violation of the False Claims Act.
To illustrate, the following example involves a kickback: Company A, a pharmaceutical company, invites providers to “speaker events” including lavish dinners and entertainment, to encourage them to prescribe their drugs and products. The more drugs the providers prescribe, the more perks they receive from Company A. Such acts of unethical conduct often impose a tremendous financial burden not just on the patient, but the hospital, the government and the taxpayers as well.
Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law
Whistleblowers or insiders with information about kickback schemes can report fraudulent activities by using the top whistleblower lawyers at Brown, LLC and filing a “Qui Tam” lawsuit under the False Claims Act. If successful, whistleblowers can receive a significant financial reward for reporting the fraud. There are two primary laws that prohibit kickbacks in the healthcare field.
The Anti-Kickback Statute
Healthcare professionals have a duty to prioritize the health of their patients, but their medical judgment is often overshadowed by greed. Hence, the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) prohibits medical providers and physicians from paying or receiving kickbacks or any financial benefits in return for referrals of patients who are covered under federal healthcare programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE. The AKS also aims to ensure that decisions by providers are made in the best interest of their patients and not to line their own pockets. Numerous courts have held that a violation of the AKS is a per se violation of the False Claims Act.
The Stark Law
The Stark Law similarly targets improper physician and provider referrals, and is possibly broader in scope than the Anti-Kickback Statute. Unlike the AKS, which requires there to be a kickback or financial benefit, the Stark Law can be violated just by the improper referral itself.
Specifically, the Stark Law is violated when a physician refers patients to an entity to which the referring physician, or his or her immediate family member, has a financial relationship. This means that, generally speaking, if a physician refers a patient to a clinic owned by his family member, the Stark Law could be violated.
It is important to note that the Stark Law has many exceptions, however, especially for referrals within group practices, managed care programs, and providers in rural areas. Moreover, the Stark Law only covers certain services, including:
- Clinical laboratory services
- Physical therapy services
- Occupational therapy services
- Outpatient speech-language pathology services
- Radiology and certain other imaging services
- Radiation therapy services and supplies
- Durable medical equipment and supplies
- Parenteral and enteral nutrients, equipment and supplies
- Prosthetics, orthotics and prosthetic devices and supplies
- Home health services
- Outpatient prescription drugs
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital service
Healthcare entities are prohibited from submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services performed due to a physician referral.
Reporting Kickbacks in Healthcare the Right Way
Whistleblowers have over the years helped the government recover billions of dollars by reporting healthcare misconduct like Kickback schemes that violate the Anti-Kickback Statue and the Stark Law, and thereby helped to protect patients, taxpayer dollars and the integrity of the healthcare system.
You as an insider witnessing healthcare abuse and waste in the form of kickbacks at a medical office or pharmaceutical company could help uncover those who undermine the system and put lives at risk. If you blow the whistle the right way, you can provide an important public service and win a whistleblower award that’s a percentage of the potentially millions of dollars recovered by the government. If you blow the whistle the wrong way, your case could be over before it begins. Contact us at Brown, LLC today to discuss your case confidentially at (877) 561- 0000.
100 Million Dollar Settlement Fund for Women Injured by a New Birth Control Product
Jason T. Brown was the first attorney in the country to file a battery of cases on behalf of women who sustained blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, strokes and death from a new Birth control Product. Jason T. Brown’s prior firm was on the PSC (Plaintiff Steering Committee) and served as liaison counsel in the state mass tort action. The firm is no longer accepting new cases.
Tens of Millions in Settlements for Mass Tort Injuries and Class Actions
$7 Million Plus Settlement for Consumer Fraud
$7 Million Dollar Commercial Litigation Settlement
Millions in Settlements for Women Injured by New Generation Hormonal Product
Women who sustained blood clots from a new Generation Hormonal Product received and continue to receive compensation for their injuries. Compensable injuries include Pulmonary Embolisms (PE), Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Strokes and Death. The firm is still investigating and accepting cases.
Nationwide $3.5 Million Settlement for Wage & Hour Class Action Case
Case brought on behalf of at home call center workers who were not paid for all their time worked including boot up time, technical time and other time. Workers were told by the company that boot up time which lasted 15 minutes or more was not paid because it was considered their commute to work. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
$3.2 Million Settlement for Wage & Hour Class Action Case
Case brought on behalf of workers who were misclassified as salaried exempt from overtime. The employer led employees to believe that they had to work unlimited hours over 40 without overtime compensation even though based on their job duties it was alleged they were entitled to overtime pay.
$2.4 Million Dollar Settlement for Wage & Hour Class Action
Lawsuit was brought as a class action on behalf of workers who worked in excess of 40 hours a week and were not paid overtime. The employer was forcing them to work “off the clock” for those hours and failed to pay proper overtime compensation.
$2 Million Dollar Settlement for False Claims Act (Whistleblower Case)
“$2 Million Dollar False Claims Act (FCA) Settlement – Unnecessary Services”
A case against GenomeDx was brought alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) and the California Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act regarding unnecessary services such as the testing of tissues that did not need to be tested. The case resulted in a $350,000 whistleblower award.
$2 Million Dollar Settlement for Truck Accident Victim
Our firm was Of Counsel to a serious truck accident case involving a trucking accident with multiple injuries.
Nationwide $1.3 Million Judgment against Future Income Payments and Scott Kohn for Consumer Fraud
Scott Kohn and Future Income Payments conspired to defraud veterans out of their hard earned pensions by offering them loans at loanshark rates and claiming it was a “purchase” not a loan.
$1.7 Million Dollar Settlement for Wage & Hour Case
Misclassified employees under the FLSA were not paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40. Due to a confidentiality agreement specific details are intentionally omitted.
Judgment with Maximum Damages for Employment Litigation
Judgment for misclassification under the FLSA including maximum damages under State and Federal Laws, plus an incentive fee for the lead plaintiff with attorney fees paid separately. The case involved a worker who was paid a day rate regardless of the amount of hours worked per day and per week.
Class Action Jury Trial
Workers alleged that they were misclassified according to their job duties. The Defendant claimed an administrative exemption under the FLSA and state law. Misclassification cases under the FLSA are the cases most often tried due to non-monetary considerations. Jury Trial lasted three weeks. Settlement offered in lieu of appeal.
Acquittal at Trial
Despite videotaped evidence that the prosecutor alleged incriminated the defendant, Mr. Brown was able to obtain an acquittal at trial for his client. Please note, that while we, the Brown, LLC will provide consultations in defense matters, the firm spends most of its time litigating complex litigation such as class actions, mass torts and catastrophic injuries.
Judgment with Maximum Damages for Wage & Hour Dispute
Wage & Hour dispute on behalf of hourly employees who were not paid time and a half for hours in excess of 40. Employees were granted double damages for all their time with attorney fees and costs paid separately.
Million Dollar Settlement for Wage & Hour Class Action Case
Workers were compelled to come into work 15 minutes early to set up, but were not paid for their set up time. Gap issues aside, workers received double damages for the time worked for 3 years’ worth of pay with attorney fees paid separately.
This is a non-exhaustive list of prior results and successes of Jason T. Brown and the Brown, LLC. Past results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
For more information about each award see Awards & Accolades – All cases involve Jason T. Brown and/ or Brown, LLC
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