What Do Medicare Fraud Attorneys Do with False Claims Reports?
September 14th, 2018 by Mike Bothwell
Could you put a stop to bad billing and possibly have a chance to receive big rewards with help from Medicare fraud attorneys?
Medicare fraud attorneys help people fight back against health care providers and clinics that use and abuse the elderly. Bad billing practices don’t just put more money into a clinic’s pocket. They make it harder for people to get the medical coverage they need.
Are you a victim of Medicare fraud? A lawyer can help you to make a difference, potentially improving the quality of health care for people in your community. In some cases, you may even be able to collect a partial settlement for your role in stopping crime.
Why People Should Care about Government Related Fraud
Sometimes, it’s tough to take the idea of government fraud seriously. We’ve all heard the reports of the outrageous way the Pentagon, among other departments, spends absurd amounts of money. Let’s take a few moments to explain those $600 toilet seats.
Granted, there are times when government funding is gravely misused. Other times, the media twists what they know to create a sensational story. Journalists might also get the wrong idea if they don’t know how to interpret the data on which they are reporting. This happened in the 1980s when news coverage based on a Pentagon invoice hit the papers.
What the reporter didn’t understand – or perhaps, didn’t care to mention – is the invoice was for a bulk order. The cost wasn’t assigned per item but for the lot. The result was a list of items, including a toilet seat and a jet engine, each unit priced at $600.
While certain members of the government are an exception, the pervasive overspending you might believe happens in government spending across the board doesn’t exist. Departments stretch their budgets to the limit and sometimes go without to create balance. This is especially true for health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare. When someone steals from their coffers, other individuals go without the necessary care.
Suing a Fraudulent Medicare Provider
Whistleblower laws give people just like you the chance to make a difference and reap the benefits. When you turn in false Medicare claims to a law firm, they can file a case against the business on behalf of you and the U.S. government.
Over the years, the government has used this law to clean up several industries and to clear big problems out of our workforce. From safety regulations to insider trading and now insurance fraud, whistleblowers laws improve quality of life for Americans across the board. Not only can you benefit from the decisions and the waves they make throughout the healthcare industry, but you can also collect a portion of the fines and other fees imposed on bad businesses.
This incentive has existed since the 1800s when Lincoln was desperate to find a way to stop government fraud related to war efforts. Troops were starving and freezing to death because of companies falling short on their promises. The law has changed over the years significantly. Congress has reigned in whistleblower protection and compensation for the benefit of big business, and they’ve done the opposite.
The Healthcare Industry
Today, the majority of lawsuits focus on the healthcare industry. That’s how widespread the problem is, and it hasn’t just resulted in people going without care. In some cases, providers have abused patients to justify their practices.
Under the False Claims Act (FCA), an individual can receive 15 to 30 percent of a settlement, which often goes into the millions. An attorney will explain the way the law applies today and how suing a fraudulent medical office can benefit you and your family financially.
According to the The National Whistleblower Legal Defense & Education Fund, whistleblowers filed 92 percent of the successful Medicare fraud cases in 2017, amounting to $3.4 billion dollars in funds collected by the government. The government paid $392 million to those who brought the fraud to light.
The Impact of Fraudulent FCA Filings
Unfortunately, there have been people who file maliciously against providers too, not because they think they’re breaking the law but because they’re hoping for a payoff. The result has been a breakdown in the effectiveness of FCA protection and prompting a call by the U.S. Department of Justice for Congress to enact new laws to control Medicare fraud and keep whistleblower suits out of court.
It’s essential to work with a law firm that invests time in researching and assessing your FCA case before filing. During billing, mistakes sometimes happen. Your provider might not be guilty of fraud so much as human error, and in certain situations, filing as a wronged patient makes more sense than filing as a whistleblower.
Click to find out more about Medicare fraud attorneys by contacting Bothwell Law Group online.