Under the Anti-Kickback Statute, it is a criminal offense to knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit, or receive payment to induce or reward in return for referring patients or generating sales of any service or product payable by the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Payment can be anything of value including cash, vacations, high-priced meals, free rent, and excessive compensation for consulting or other services.
Under the law, which is found at 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), both the individual who referred the patient to the doctor and the doctor are covered by the law and may be held liable. Penalties and sanctions for violation of this anti-fraud law include jail sentences, banning from participation in Medicare/Medicaid programs, and substantial fines. Doctors who pay or accept kickbacks face fines of up to $50,000 per kickback, in addition to three times the amount of the kickback payment.
Kickbacks defraud American taxpayers of the funds they contribute to Medicare and Medicaid. Illegal kickback schemes in the health care industry can lead to corrupt decision-making by doctors and overuse of medical services. Although kickbacks can cause waste and increase health care costs, the government does not need to prove financial losses to Medicare or Medicaid in order to bring a successful kickback claim.
At The Cochran Firm, D.C., we represent whistleblowers who alert authorities regarding illegal kickback schemes in the health care and medical industry. Sadly, Medicaid and Medicare fraud is increasingly common. Whistleblowers represented by attorneys who report fraudulent kickback schemes may be eligible for significant compensation if the whistleblower’s information leads to a successful verdict or settlement. In the last three years, whistleblowers who report health care fraud have been paid millions out of the funds recovered for taxpayers. As a whistleblower, you will help society hold accountable unscrupulous doctors and health care companies that place profits before people.
Please contact our team of experienced attorneys if you believe you have information regarding illegal Medicare or Medicaid-related kickbacks. Consultations for health care fraud whistleblowers are free and confidential.