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Qui Tam

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Whistleblowers, Moneys Recovered, Civil False Claims Act | Defective Products, Inferior Material, Illegal Price Gouging, Union Army

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam, or whistleblower, laws have existed in Western cultures for over 600 years. An early example can be traced back to the U.S. Civil War, when Congressional hearings disclosed widespread instances of military contractor fraud that included defective products, substitution of inferior material, and illegal price gouging of the Union Army.

At the urging of Abraham Lincoln, Congress enacted the Civil False Claims Act, including Qui Tam provisions, as a tool to fight fraud. Between 1863 and 1986 the law was seldom used. But as a result of 1986 amendments, Qui Tam actions have increased dramatically and have been the most effective and successful means of combating procurement and program fraud. Since 1986, Qui Tam recoveries have exceeded $1 billion with most of the successes involving fraud in Defense and Health Care programs.

The False Claims Act states that whistleblowers are to be rewarded with a percentage of the money that the government recovers as a result of Qui Tam lawsuits. This provision helps encourage people to assist the government in reducing Medicare fraud, defense fraud and other kinds of fraud, despite the effect whistleblowing might have on their jobs and personal lives.

Under the False Claims Act the government may recover up to three times the amount of money it lost as a result of the defendant's fraud. The whistleblower's share is calculated based upon the amount the government recovers, not the actual losses.

A number of factors determine how much money a whistle-blower will receive if the government is able to recover money from the defendant. If the government joins the case, the whistleblower is entitled to at least 15 percent, but not more than 25 percent of what the government recovers.

If the government declines to join the case and the whistleblower continues with a suit against the defendant, the whistleblower is entitled to at least 25 percent, but not more than 30 percent of the money the government recovers.

Affordable Care Act Infuses Qui Tam with New Lifeblood

The Affordable Care Act, passed during President Obama’s administration, has enabled the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand its efforts to prevent and fight fraud, waste and abuse. Since passage of the act, the CMS has revoked the ability of some 14,663 providers and suppliers to bill Medicare since March 2011; it has also recovered $14.9 billion.

Seniors on Medicare played a large role in helping the government to make that recovery; primarily, they used a Medicare hotline to report instances of fraud they noticed on their statements. As of mid-2013, the government was working on bolstering its efforts to incentivize these Medicare whistleblowers: It has proposed legislation that will enable whistleblowers to collect nearly $10 million in some instances; the previous cap has been about $10,000. Additionally, the CMS will be rolling out redesigned quarterly Medicare statements, which are meant to help seniors more easily notice fraudulent billings.

Legal Help for Individuals Who Would Like to Bring About a Qui Tam Lawsuit

If you are a current or former employee and have information on any illegal activities, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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Missouri Hospitals Settle Alleged False Claims Act Violations for $34M

May 24, 2017
Whistleblower Alleges Hospitals Engaged in Improper Financial Relationships with Referring Physicians Two hospitals in Southwest Missouri have reached a $34 million settlement with the federal government to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. The United States alleged that Mercy Hospital Springfield f/k/a St. John's Regional Health Center, and its affiliate, Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities f/k/a St. John's Clinic violated the False Claims Act by engaging in...

Kansas City Home Health Agency Named in Whistleblower Lawsuits

May 3, 2017
Thirteen whistleblowers in health care lawsuits filed under the federal False Claims Act are current or former employees of the defendant in the cases. Parker Waichman notes that whistleblower lawsuits can be filed over many different types of fraud-involving goods and services-that cost the government money. Best Choice Home Health Care Agency Settles Kickback Case for $1.8 Million Four of the unsealed actions involve kickback allegations, according to The National Law Review. A lawsuit...

Democrats Call on FDA to Lift Ban on Gay Blood Donors

Jul 1, 2016
House Democrats are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end a policy that prevents gay men from donating blood unless they have abstained from sex for one year. According to the Washington Examiner, the lawmakers were fueled by the tragic mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. In the past, the FDA banned men from donating blood if they had sex with another man even once. Last year, the agency modified that policy; they can donate if they abstained from sex for one...

CDC Accused of Withholding Study Data Linking MMR Vaccine and Autism

Aug 26, 2015
Bill Posey, a House member from Florida, recently asked Congress to investigate evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) withheld data linking the MMR vaccine, (measles, mumps and Rubella) and autism from a study published in Pediatrics. Posey based his request on allegations by Dr. William Thompson, who has worked at the CDC since 1998. Thompson charged that he was pressured to manipulate data in order to conceal possibly harmful side effects of the MMR vaccine, WND...

Watchdog Employees are Protected by State Whistleblower Law, New Jersey Supreme Court Rules

Jul 20, 2015
New Jersey's whistleblower law applies to watchdog employees, the state's Supreme Court ruled recently. In a 38-page decision, Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote that the unanimous decision supports a previous appeals court ruling, NJ Spotlight reports. Whistleblower laws are intended to protect employees who report misconduct or other type of wrongdoing. This has been an important part of detecting fraud, since the government is often limited in how it can reinforce rules. According...

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