Under federal law, service providers who bill the government inappropriately face both criminal and civil consequences if caught. The False Claims Act creates a framework for enforcement when a medical provider that accepts government insurance engages in fraudulent billing practices.
One of the many rules intended to reduce false claims and protect the public coffers is the right for employees at companies to bring a qui tam action on behalf of the government. A worker with direct knowledge of illegal billing can file a civil suit on behalf of the government.
Doing so might endanger that person’s career future. So how does the government offset the risks involved in a qui tam claim?
Those who file such claims have whistleblower protection
Although companies typically resent those who highlight their wrongdoings, it is illegal for businesses to fire or penalize those who report misconduct. Whistleblower protections not only prevent your employer from firing you but also from demoting you, cutting your wages or making your workplace hostile.
You could receive financial compensation with a successful claim
Not all qui tam lawsuits result in a successful ruling against a company. However, in cases where a qui tam action is successful, the person acting as the relator by bringing the claim on behalf of the government has the right to financial compensation. In some cases, they could receive as much as 30% of the amount recovered because of fraudulent billing practices.
If you have evidence of inappropriate and illegal billing practices by your employer, bringing a claim might not only result in compensation. It could also protect you from getting swept up in future enforcement efforts that target your employer.