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Fiscal Year 2023 Sees Highest Number Of Settlements And Judgements In History




In the world of health care fraud, are things getting better or are things getting worse? We suppose it all depends on how you view the recent announcement made by the Office of Public Affairs. Last week, they reported that False Claims Act settlements and judgements exceeded $2.68 billion in fiscal year 2023, which ended on September 30.

 

From one perspective, you could surmise that health care fraud cases are sadly increasing to record numbers. From another, you might applaud the success of law enforcement in its crackdown on fraudsters. No matter how you see it, 2023 was a year for the record books. It saw the highest number of settlements and judgements in history: 543.

 

The announcement was made on February 22.

 

On Thursday of last week, Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer and Civil Division Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton announced the news of the record-setting year. They revealed that the government and whistleblowers were party to 543 settlements and judgments, which is the highest number of settlements and judgments in a single year.

 

“Recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $75 billion,” informs the Office of Public Affairs. The report explains that The False Claims Act imposes treble damages and penalties on those who knowingly and falsely claim money from the United States. It also penalizes those who knowingly fail to pay money owed to the United States.

 

The False Claims Act offers widespread protection.

 

The federal law serves to safeguard government programs and operations that provide access to medical care. It also supports our military and first responders, protects American businesses and workers, helps build and repair infrastructure, offers disaster and other emergency relief and provides many other critical services and benefits.

 

In 1986, the False Claims Act was strengthened by Congress. They increased incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. “These whistleblower, or qui tam, actions comprise a significant percentage of the False Claims Act cases that are filed,” notes the Office of Public Affairs.  

 

A qui tam case may be pursued by the government or the whistleblower.

 

In 2023, significant recoveries were obtained by both. “When a qui tam action is successful, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, typically receives a portion of the recovery ranging between 15% and 30%,” the report details, “Whistleblowers filed 712 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2023, and this past year the Justice Department reported settlements and judgments exceeding $2.3 billion in these and earlier-filed suits.”

 

As mentioned, there was a record-setting $2.68 billion in False Claims Act settlements and judgments reported by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year. Of them, over $1.8 billion was related to matters that involved the health care industry. They included managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, long-term acute care facilities and physicians.

 

Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?

 

The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! We coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.

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