3 Largest Whistle-Blower Payments in False Claims Act Cases in 2014

Philadelphia-based Young Law Group has released a report that shows there were more than $300 million awarded to whistle-blowers who brought claims under the False Claims Act in fiscal year 2014.

The following were the three largest whistle-blower payments awarded in fiscal year 2014 in the healthcare industry:

1. Johnson & Johnson. The largest payment was awarded to the whistle-blower who brought the case against Johnson & Johnson over its marketing of the antipsychotic prescription drug Risperdal for off-label uses. The whistle-blower was originally awarded $167.7 million of the total $1.2 billion judgment against the pharmaceutical company, but the case has now been overturned. 

2. Amedisys. The second largest payment was received by the whistle-blower who filed the lawsuit against Baton Rouge, La-based Amedisys, one of the country's largest providers of home health services. The lawsuit alleged Amedisys submitted improper claims to Medicare for reimbursement from 2008 to 2010 for therapy and nursing services that were medically unnecessary or provided to patients who were not homebound. The lawsuit also alleged Amedisys violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians, including providing patient care coordination services at below market value, according to the report. The whistle-blower was awarded $26 million of the total $150 million settlement.

3. Halifax. The third largest payment went to the whistle-blower who filed the lawsuit against Daytona, Fla.-based Halifax Hospital Medical Center alleging the medical center violated the False Claims Act and the Stark Law. The lawsuit alleged Halifax knowingly violated the Stark Law by executing contracts with six medical oncologists that included an incentive bonus that improperly included the value of prescription drugs and tests the oncologists ordered and Halifax billed to Medicare. The government also alleged Halifax knowingly violated the Stark Law by paying three neurosurgeons more than fair market value for their work, and billing Medicare for medically unnecessary services. The whistle-blower was awarded $20.8 million of the total $85 million settlement.  

More Articles on False Claims Act:

11 Recent Healthcare Lawsuits, Settlements
5 Recent FCA Employee Whistle-Blower Case Settlements
Baptist Health Settles False Claims Allegations For $2.5M

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