Qui Tam: What Is It?

The term qui tam is actually an abbreviated form of the latin phrase "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro seipse," which means "he who sues for the king as for himself." Whistleblower is another term used to describe the same type of claim. When an employee gets wind of their employer's illegal business practices, they have the opportunity to file a qui tam claim against them, and are usually awarded a large portion of the settlement that the government receives. Whistleblower vs. Qui Tam Claims - Is There a Difference? Whistleblower and qui tam claims do essentially the same thing; they allow employees to file lawsuits against their … [Read more...]

Links Between MMR Vaccine and Autism Allegedly Fabricated

This medical malpractice post will discuss a report published this week by the British Medical Journal that denounces a 1998 study performed by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. The study, printed by The Lancet, links Autism with the MMR vaccination, and has now been labeled as nothing more than an "elaborate fraud." Autism Study a Fraud? Dr. Andrew Wakefield caused a significant decrease in MMR vaccinations since the publishing of his study in 1998 that claimed that the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination was, in fact, causing "regressive autism". Regressive autism is a form of the disorder that starts to develop after a child has displayed … [Read more...]

Medicare Fraud? Tips on How You Can Tell

Medicare and Medicaid services were created to help the elderly and or those with disabilities or certain other medical conditions be able to better afford medical coverage in order to pay for supplies, medical care, treatments, doctor’s visits and much more. This all seems like a good idea if it works the way it should and benefits those it is suppose to. Unfortunately though, there have been more and more cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and people are getting sneaky about how they get around the rules. Billing Medicare for services that were not received or provided can cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year and it also hurts … [Read more...]

The “Dead Doctor” Scam: How Medicare and Medicaid Lost $70 Million In Fraudulent Claims

Most people envision Medicare or Medicaid fraud as a pharmacist billing for name brand prescriptions while dispersing the generic version, or a doctor inflating the cost of his services to bring in a few extra bucks. Unfortunately, another type of Medicare and Medicaid fraud exists—and it’s one that took the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 7 years to put a stop to. A subcommittee report issued by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Investigations Subcommittee on Tuesday revealed CMS has paid out more than $70 million between 2000 and 2007 for durable medical equipment that used the personal … [Read more...]

Wallgreen’s Pays $35 Million For Medicaid Whistleblower Settlement

On June 4, 2008, Walgreen’s drug store agreed to pay $35 million to settle a Medicare whistleblower lawsuit. In the suit, retail giant Walgreen’s was accused of substituting more expensive versions of three prescription drugs between 2001 and 2005 in an attempt to defraud the medicare system. Pharmacist Bernard Listiza was credited for blowing the whistle on the fraud scheme and will receive $5 million as a reward for his cooperation.  This same pharmacist brought a similar suit against CVS Caremark Corporation in late 2006. In addition, individual states such as Indiana and Ohio have accused the pharmacy of making wholesale switches … [Read more...]

US SUPREME COURT FAILS TO CURTIAL IRS WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIM

This past April, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision that it would not review the case of Murphy v. IRS. Consequently, the IRS can continue to tax damages awarded to victims of whistleblower retaliation and other civil rights violations -- even though such damages are not income. Under previous law, whistleblowers that were awarded significant compensation received those funds "tax free'. This law was consistent with earlier court decisions, which stated that compensation for whistleblowers was not income and, therefore, any tax on a whistle blower"s damages violated the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, because … [Read more...]

CVS WHISTLEBLOWER SUIT SETTLED FOR $36.7 MILLION

On March 18, 2007, CVS agreed to pay $36.7 million as a result of allegations that the company improperly switched patients from the tablet version of the prescription drug Zantak to a more expensive version in order to increase Medicaid reimbursement. The fraud was brought to light by a Bernard Listiza, a pharmacist in Washington, DC. Following extensive negotiations between the US Attorney"s Office and CVS, CVS agreed to pay $36.7 million for defrauding the government. The United States" share of the settlement was approximately $21.1 million, with 23 states and the District of Columbia sharing $15.6 million. More importantly, the … [Read more...]

Whistleblower Lawsuits For 2005 Total $1.1 Billion in Settlements

The Federal Government issued a report stating that in 2005 alone, whistleblower lawsuits resulted in a recovery of 1.1 billion dollars to the United States Government. The actual whistleblowers that brought these claims to light were awarded $166 million dollars for their involvement. One of the largest cases from 2005 involved a whistleblower that discovered Medicare had made $21.7 billion in improper payments to doctors, hospitals and insurers in 2004. After the government recouped the money, the whistleblower was awarded over a billion dollars in compensation. Similarly, in March 2005, a whistleblower that had previously worked for … [Read more...]

"Arrogance, Abuse, Fraud and Medical Malpractice: How Some Physicians Beg for Lawsuits"

I read an interesting article today by MC Kean entitled "Arrogance, Abuse, Fraud and Medical Malpractice: How Some Physicians Beg For Lawsuits." Kean basically turns the table on doctors who are portraying medical malpractice victims as "sue happy" and exposes the real greed fueling medical malpractice suits which lies within the medical community itself. Keen states, "Physicians and mass media often depict patients and their lawyers who file lawsuits against doctors as greedy, money-grubbing opportunist. 1 It turns out this is more projection than reality. A 1990 study by Harvard researchers of 31,000 medical records subjected to … [Read more...]