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Whistleblower Successes

Whistleblower reward laws and whistleblower reward programs enable qualifying whistleblowers to recover anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the government’s recovery. These whistleblower reward laws include: the federal False Claims Act; State False Claims Acts; the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program; and, the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. We have collected summaries of recent successes in cases brought by whistleblowers, and you can read them below.

Members of the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Lawyer Team have served as lead counsel on cases that have recovered roughly $1.3 billion for the government and $240 million in whistleblower awards. You can read more about the results we have achieved for our clients in Our Successes.

If you believe you have information about fraud which could give rise to a claim for a whistleblower reward, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

July 20, 2020

Drug testing laboratory Sterling Healthcare Opco, LLC, doing business as Cordant Health Solutions will pay $12 million to resolve allegations in a False Claims Act case brought by a whistleblower that it paid unlawful kickbacks to Northwest Physicians Laboratories, LLC and Genesis Marketing Group in exchange for referrals of urine drug tests paid for by federal healthcare programs and performed at Cordant labs in Tacoma (Regional Toxicology Services LLC d/b/a Sterling Reference Laboratory) and Denver (Rocky Mountain Tox LLC d/b/a Forensic Laboratories).  The whistleblower will receive 20% of the settlement, or approximately $2.4 millionUSAO WD WA

July 13, 2020

Longwood Management Company and 27 affiliated skilled nursing facilities have agreed to pay $16.7 million to resolve allegations raised by whistleblowers Judy Boyce, Benjamin Monsod, and Keith Pennetti in two separate qui tam filings, that six Longwood facilities knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare.  Between 2018 to 2012, Longwood allegedly pressured its rehabilitation therapists to increase the amount of therapy provided to Medicare Part A patients, regardless of medical necessity, so it could claim Ultra High levels of service, which are reimbursed at the highest rate.  As part of the settlement, Longwood will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, and Boyce, Monsod, and Pennetti will share a $3 million award.  DOJ; USDC CDCA

July 10, 2020

Universal Health Services, Inc. and UHS of Delaware, Inc. (collectively, UHS), and a Georgia-based UHS facility, Turning Point Care Center, LLC, have agreed to pay a combined $122 million to settle 18 qui tam cases pending in four jurisdictions.  In violation of the False Claims Act, UHS allegedly billed federal healthcare programs—including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit programs—for medically unnecessary inpatient behavioral health services, failed to provide adequate or appropriate services, and paid illegal inducements to beneficiaries of those programs.  UHS will pay over $88 million to the federal government and nearly $29 million to individual states, for a combined penalty of $117 million, with a relator share of about $15.8 million.  Turning Point will pay $5 million to the federal government and the State of Georgia; the whistleblower in that case will receive $861,853.64.  USAO MDFL; USAO NDGA; USAO EDPA; AG FL; AG MI; AG NC; AG VA

July 8, 2020

A Florida-based nonprofit that provides hospice care, palliative care, and other services to the elderly, has agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve its liability under the False Claims Act.  According to former Director of Hospice Care, Margaret Peters, Hope Hospice knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE for medically unnecessary but highly reimbursed general inpatient (GIP) hospice services over a five year period.  For blowing the whistle on the alleged fraud, Peters will receive a 19% share of the settlement.  USAO MDFL

July 7, 2020

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC (FCS) has agreed to return more than $2.3 million in overcharges to the VA after a successful qui tam action by a former Claims Resolution Specialist with FCS, Marianne Parker.  Parker’s complaint instigated a government investigation that found that an error in the VA’s billing system had led the agency to pay the full amount billed by FCS for certain physician-administered drugs provided to veterans, rather than at the Medicare rate mandated by the Code of Federal Regulations.  For alerting the government to the discrepancies, Parker will receive a 20% share of the funds.  USAO MDFL

July 1, 2020

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation will pay a total of $678 million to resolve a case brought by a whistleblower, Oswald Bilotta, alleging that between 2002 and 2011 the pharmaceutical company violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act by providing doctors with cash payments and luxury travel and meals to induce them to prescribe Novartis cardiovascular and diabetes drugs reimbursed by federal healthcare programs.  The total settlement consists of $591.4 million as federal FCA damages, $48.2 million as state FCA damages for Medicaid false claims, and $38.4 million as forfeiture under the Anti-Kickback Statute.  The whistleblower award has not yet been determined.  In addition to the monetary settlement, Novartis entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement obligating the company to, among other things, significantly reduce its volume and spending on paid speaker programs.  DOJ; USAO SDNY

June 25, 2020

Georgia-based Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. has agreed to pay $16 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations that it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  The relator in this case, a former Piedmont physician, alleged that between 2009 and 2013, Piedmont’s case managers overturned physician recommendations for outpatient care by submitting claims for more expensive inpatient care to Medicare and Medicaid.  Furthermore, when the healthcare system acquired the Atlanta Cardiology Group in 2007, it allegedly paid far above fair market value for a catherization lab that was partly owned by the practice group.  For bringing a successful enforcement action, the unnamed relator will receive a share of nearly $3 million of the settlement proceeds. USAO SDGA
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