Is Your Arizona Health Care Employer Guilty of Medicaid Fraud?
Arizona health care professionals who exploit Arizona Medicaid for their own financial gain steal valuable taxpayer dollars from funds designated for elderly, children, disabled and adults in need. False statements, kickbacks, misrepresentation and billing for medically unnecessary costs are just a few examples of the Arizona Medicaid fraud schemes that health care providers or suppliers use to try to cheat Arizona Medicaid.
Stealing from Arizona Medicaid causes a devastating rise in overall health care costs. When providers base decisions on financial gain rather than patient need, quality of care deteriorates. In 2015, the Arizona Medicaid Fraud Control Unit prosecuted 48 criminal convictions and 17 civil settlements and judgements, recovering over $2.3 million in stolen Arizona Medicaid funds.
Many of these recoveries were successful thanks to whistleblowers – Arizona nurses, doctors, EMT’s, pharmacists and other health care professionals who come forward to report knowledge of Arizona Medicaid fraud.
Do you suspect your Arizona health care employer is guilty of Medicaid fraud? Federal law provides large cash incentives and powerful anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers willing to report original knowledge of illegal activity. Find out if your information qualifies you for a whistleblower cash award. Call now for an immediate and confidential case evaluation.
Review the Various Types of Medicaid Fraud
Reporting Arizona Medicaid Fraud
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What Whistleblower Laws Govern Reporting Arizona Medicaid Fraud?
The federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 - 3733, enables private citizens to file a “qui-tam” whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the federal government against individuals or entities they suspect have submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or other government health care programs. Whistleblowers with information leading to a successful verdict or settlement are entitled to between 10% and 30% any money recovered. Whistleblowers may also sue for damages in cases of employer retaliation in response to reporting Arizona Medicaid fraud.
Though Arizona does not have its own state FCA, the same conduct that supports a state FCA claim often also violates the federal FCA. The federal FCA is violated by any person who:
- Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
- Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
- Conspires to commit a violation of the federal FCA
- Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the government and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or property;
- Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the government and, intending to defraud the government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
- Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the government, or a member of the Armed Forces, who lawfully may not sell or pledge property; or
- Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the government, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the government.
The terms “Knowing” and “knowingly” mean that a person has actual knowledge of the information; acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information. No proof of specific intent to defraud is required.
Individuals who violate the federal FCA are liable to the U.S. government for a civil penalty of between $5,000 and $10,000, plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the government and the costs of any civil action brought to recover any such penalty or damages.
Whistleblowers are America’s first line of defense in combatting Arizona Medicaid fraud. Health care professionals and others with knowledge of Arizona Medicaid fraud could be eligible for a substantial cash reward. If you suspect Arizona Medicaid fraud, you are encouraged to connect with the Medicaid Fraud Hotline now for an immediate, confidential and no-obligation case evaluation.
What Protections Does the Law Provide For Arizona Medicaid Fraud Whistleblowers?
Under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 - 3733, no employer, contractor or agent may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass or in any other manner discriminate against an employee, contractor or agent because of lawful acts done by the employee, contractor, agent or a person associated with the employee, contractor or agent in furtherance of an FCA action or other efforts to stop a violation of the FCA.
Whistleblowers Are Entitled To Remedies When Subjected to Employer Retaliation
Under the federal FCA, whistleblowers who experience workplace retaliation are entitled to remedies including:
- Reinstatement with the same seniority status the employee, contractor or agent would have had but for the discrimination
- Twice the amount of back pay
- Interest on the back pay
- Compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination
- Litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees
Arizona Medicaid expenditures in 2014 totaled over $9.2 billion. Up to 10% of all Medicaid claims submitted by Arizona Medicaid health care providers, more than $920 million, are excessive or fraudulent. This is precisely why the federal government is willing to whistleblower cash awards in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to those who expose misconduct. Contact the Medicaid Fraud Hotline Now to learn whether you have a case and are eligible for a cash award.
What Cash Award Amounts Are Offered for Reporting Arizona Medicaid Fraud?
Under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 - 3733, a whistleblower who files the initial complaint is entitled to the following amounts if the government prevails in the action:
- If the government choses to intervene, the whistleblower is entitled to between 15% and 25% of the proceeds of the action or settlement, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and an amount to cover the expenses and costs of bringing the action.
- If the government opts not to intervene, the whistleblower is entitled to between 25% and 30% of the proceeds of the action or settlement, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and an amount to cover the expenses and costs of bringing the action.
Final award amounts are determined based upon the significance of the whistleblower’s information and the extent to which the whistleblower aids in the investigation and advancing the case to litigation.
If you have knowledge of Arizona Medicaid fraud, contact the Medicaid Fraud Hotline or fill out the online report form. Discover if you are eligible for a cash award and learn more about your rights as a whistleblower.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Reporting Arizona Medicaid Fraud?
Under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 - 3733, a whistleblower lawsuit must be brought:
- Within 6 years after the date on which the violation is committed, or
- Within 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known, and
- No longer than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed.
A civil action under the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal FCA must be brought within 3 years of the date the retaliation occurred.
The federal government pays large cash awards to whistleblowers whose Arizona Medicaid fraud report leads to government recovery. If you feel you have knowledge of Arizona Medicaid fraud, don’t hesitate to contact the Medicaid Fraud Hotline.
2 Easy Steps to Help you Decide
Whether You Should Report Medicaid Fraud
If you have knowledge of Arizona Medicaid fraud, contact the Medicaid Fraud Hotline or fill out the online report form. Act fast. First to file provisions mean only the first to report an incident is eligible for a cash award. Statutes of limitations may apply.
Huge Cash Rewards Paid for Reporting Arizona Medicaid Fraud