Davita HealthCare Partners recently announced it will pay as much as $495 million in a whistleblower settlement accusing it of defrauding the federal Medicare program. The dialysis company stated the settlement does not admit any wrongdoing, despite this being its third whistleblower settlement since 2012. Payouts in all of the cases total nearly $1 billion.
This latest suit was filed in 2011, when Dr. Alon J. Vainer and Nurse Daniel D. Barbir noticed that DaVita was throwing out medicine that was still usable and billing Medicare and Medicaid for it. Vainer and Barbir stand to earn up to $135 million in the settlement as part of the federal whistleblower program.
May 5th, 2015
IU Health and HealthNet is accused of scamming government healthcare out of millions of dollars and putting patient safety at risk. The accusations come from a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the companies allowed nurse midwives to care for high-risk pregnant women who qualified as low-income patients.
April 27, 2015
Medical testing labs run by Singulex Inc. and Health Diagnostics Laboratory Inc. (HDL) will pay $48.5 million in settlement fees after accusations they were involved in kickbacks. The labs are accused of enticing doctors with financial reward and unnecessarily testing subjects, according to the US Department of Justice. Neither party was forced to admit any liability. HDL will pay $47 million and Singulex $1.5 million to resolve the allegations.
March 12, 2015
Southwest Airlines recently settled a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former mechanic of the company that claimed the employee was disciplined after he reported two cracks in the fuselage of one of the company’s Boeing 737-700 planes during a routine maintenance check.
As part of the settlement, the airline agreed to remove the disciplinary action from the employee’s record and reimburse him $35,000 for his legal fees. His lawsuit had been filed under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21 statute). The statute entitles airline employees who are disciplined or terminated following a safety issue report are entitled to an appeals process.
March 2, 2015
Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation has agreed to pay $75 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. Three of the systems affiliate hospitals in New Mexico will also participate in the settlement (EasternNew MexicoMedicalCenter, MimbresMemorialHospital and Nursing Home, and AltaVistaRegionalMedicalCenter).
The claims asserted the company violated the False Claims Act by making illegal contributions to county government so funds could be used as Medicaid payments to hospitals.
February 9, 2015
NantHealth, owned by the world’s richest doctor Patric Soon-Shiong, is facing a lawsuit filed by former employees claiming the company is a fraud.
Nant claims to provide an opportunity unlike any other for cancer patients, blending advancements in technology, medical tracking, and other treatments intended to offer state-of-the-art care. Some claim the company is promising far more than it delivers.
February 3, 2015
Recent protections offered to those considered whistleblowers by the federal government and the court system are intended to encourage people to come forward when they have information about illegal activity or wrongdoing. Those who choose to speak out about information are rewarded with settlement money and assistance restoring their lives – specifically the ability to return to their jobs – following successful prosecution based on their reports.
The goal of the program is to encourage people who know of wrongdoing to come forward so the legal system can take action.
January 22, 2015
Police in Dallas are alleging a cover-up at CollinCollege concerning recent accusations of a textbook theft scheme. The police believe efforts were underway to steal $1.5 million worth of books and they are asking the three college officials named in the accusations to resign.
In August, the officers filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming their schedules were changed and their work environment turned hostile after they made claims against the officials. The attorney representing the officers, Victoria Neave, stated in a recent press conference that the officers are taking action because they don’t believe tax payers should be on the hook for the $1.5 million. They also claim that information is being hidden from investigators and that the three officers involved were ordered by the college to top their investigation regarding the disappearance of the text books. At the time they were ordered to stop, the officers believe they had already uncovered evidence that high-ranking officials at the school were involved in the scheme.
December 16, 2014
The US Justice Department recently announced its whistleblower program designed to catch and recover money from fraud against the government had its most successful year to date. The department recovered $5.59 billion in settlements and judgments for the 2014 fiscal year. Previous year’s recoveries never amounted to more than $5 billion. The total amount of recovery since the program began in 2009 is nearly $23 billion.
December 3, 2014
A recent $30 million award given to a whistleblower is another example illustrating the success of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program. The program dispensed nine awards in 2014, more than in any other previous year. Awards were given to people who provided information about violations of federal securities laws. The program had previously given only four awards total.
A total of 3,620 whistleblower tips were received in 2014, which was approximately 20% higher than previous years.