Washington, DC, February 8, 2023—Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice released the latest data on False Claims Act settlements and judgments. Notably, for the first time since amendment of the federal False Claims Act in 1986, more than half of all recoveries ($1.18 billion) are from qui tam cases in which the whistleblower pursued the case without the intervention of the United States. As expected, recoveries from fraud directed at federal health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, lead the ledger for successful False Claims Act settlements and judgments.
Statement of Colette Matzzie, Whistleblower Attorney and Partner, Phillips and Cohen LLP
“Each year since the historic amendments to the False Claims Act in 1986, the Department of Justice releases statistics documenting recoveries in fraud actions. The numbers this year tell an unmistakable story about the essential role played by whistleblowers in recovering taxpayer dollars lost to fraudulent schemes directed at federal programs. Notably, in FY22, over half of all recoveries were achieved by whistleblower suits in cases in which the United States did not intervene. Those whistleblowers who came forward to report waste, fraud and corruption, deserve our thanks and appreciation.
Not surprisingly, the highest percentage of recoveries involve fraudulent schemes directed at the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Healthcare fraud deprives federal programs of critically important funding and can put the health and safety of seniors and the most vulnerable populations at risk. The FY22 recoveries, as well as ongoing litigation against Medicare Advantage plans, demonstrate the continued commitment of the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to pursue healthcare fraud cases vigorously.
Phillips & Cohen is proud to have been part of the team representing whistleblowers in qui tam cases filed against Physician Partners of America (PPOA), resulting in one of the larger healthcare settlements for FY22. Other areas of priority for fraud enforcement in FY2022 included COVID relief, cybersecurity, and schemes directed at servicemembers. DOJ also identified holding individuals accountable as a core commitment and critical for deterrence.
The False Claims Act, and whistleblowers, remain the strongest weapons in the government’s arsenal against fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.”