DOJ Recovers $2.6B From Healthcare False Claims Act Cases

The Justice Department recovered $2.6 billion in settlements and judgments from healthcare fraud in fiscal year 2013.

The $2.6 billion makes 2013 the fourth consecutive year the department recovered more than $2 billion in cases involving healthcare fraud.

Recoveries from healthcare fraud accounted for the lion's share of total recoveries under the False Claims Act, as the Justice Department secured $3.8 billion all together. That's the second largest annual recovery of its type in history, according to the department.

Of the $2. 6 billion in federal health care fraud recoveries, $1.8 billion were from alleged false claims for drugs and medical devices under federally insured health programs.

Many of these settlements involved allegations that pharmaceutical manufacturers improperly promoted drugs for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Abbott Laboratories, for instance, paid $1.5 billion to settle allegations that it illegally promoted its drug Depakote for uses that weren't approved by the FDA.

The year involved an increase in qui tam, or whistleblower, cases as well. The qui tam provisions allow private citizens to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. If the government prevails in the case, the whistleblower receives up to 30 percent of the recovery.

The number of total qui tam suits filed in fiscal year 2013 (not specific to healthcare cases) soared to 752, which is 100 more than the record set the previous fiscal year. Recoveries for these cases totaled $2. 9 billion, with whistleblowers recovering $345 million.

More Articles on Healthcare Fraud:

U.S. Recovers $16 for Every $1 it Spends Fighting Civil Healthcare Fraud
The Growth of Healthcare Fraud Qui Tam Lawsuits
Updated Fraud Self-Disclosure Protocol: 5 Considerations for Healthcare Providers

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