Have you witnessed conditions at a facility that provides Medicaid or Medicare services? Maybe it’s your employer or a loved one’s care center? If you’ve noticed a hospital taking part in schemes like false documentation, ambulance scams, neglect, or even illegal kickbacks -- we urge you to report it through our hotline.
Every year, Medicaid fraud costs taxpayers billions of dollars (yes, that’s billion with a B). Whistleblowers -- the brave men and women who see something and, critically, say something -- are one crucial way we can take some of that money back and bring these people to justice.
Unfortunately, the problem of fraud is widespread in hospice care centers. According to reports from the Department of Health and Human Services, a four-year-long survey of hospice facilities nationwide revealed that one in ten centers violate government regulations to the extent that they seriously endanger the lives of their patients. More than 80 percent had at least one deficiency.
Some of the complaints that they uncovered were horrifying, from looking past signs of sexual assault to neglecting a wound to the extent that the patient’s leg had to be amputated due to infection.
The kicker: many of the facilities in the HHS study served Medicare and Medicaid recipients. While Medicaid provides care to older people, Medicaid lends a hand to low-income individuals who might otherwise be unable to pay for healthcare treatment, much less quality end-of-life care.
In other words: these corrupt centers are using some of the most vulnerable people in the government’s care to make a few extra bucks. They know that the government can’t be everywhere at once, and they exploit the disenfranchised -- and intimidate those who might speak up.
But here’s the good news. There’s a law that protects whistleblowers who choose to speak up. It’s called the False Claims Act.
The act says that anyone who has true insider knowledge of a person or entity cheating on their government billing can file a “whistleblower” lawsuit against them: People of the United States vs. that cheating person or entity. It’s a reward system for people to stick up for the government -- and for the people these government programs serve. And if they win the suit, the whistleblower typically takes home 15 to 30 percent of the damages.
Not only are whistleblowers eligible for a cash reward, but they’re also subject to federal- and state-level protections from retaliation at work, including harassment and termination. If you have information about hospice care fraud, please don’t hesitate to call the hotline or get in touch.