Earlier this year, the United States Department of Justice released its figures for fiscal year 2015 showing the total amount of recoveries from settlements and judgments in civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. In its press release, the Department of Justice reported that this was its fourth consecutive year where recoveries under the False Claims Act exceeded $3.5 billion. Total recoveries by the government since 2009 total $26.4 billion.

The government reported that of the $3.5 billion recovered in 2015, well over half, $1.9 billion, came from companies in the healthcare industry who are alleged to have provided unnecessary or inadequate care, paying illegal kickbacks to providers, or overcharging for goods and services paid for by healthcare programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Aside from healthcare, the second largest recoveries concerned government contracts. This category includes contracting with businesses that equip the military and provide goods and services for domestic programs. Settlements and judgments in this category reached $1.1 billion.

In 2015, whistleblowers filed 638 qui tam lawsuits which allowed the government to recover $2.8 billion. Awards to whistleblowers who brought the qui tam actions totaled $597 million in 2015.

According to the government’s press release, one of the largest recoveries in 2015 was from DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc.. Davita provides dialysis services throughout the United States. The company is alleged to have knowingly generated unnecessary waste in administering certain drugs to dialysis patients. Davita paid $450 million to resolve allegations regarding waste, however, it paid an additional $350 million to settle claims that the company violated the False Claims Act by paying physicians to refer patients to Davita’s clinics.

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Jason Cornell is an attorney who represents whistleblowers with the law firm Clark Fountain LaVista Prather Keen & Littky-Rubin. Clark Fountain represents plaintiffs in various matters throughout the United States. If you have questions regarding the issues addressed in this or other posts, you can reach Jason at 561 899-2111, or jcornell@clarkfountain.com.