We work with whistleblowers to expose fraud against the government.

Medicare, Medicaid & TRICARE Fraud

False claims in health care cost taxpayers billions.

The Government Accountability Office estimated that in 2010 at least 10 percent of all Medicare payments were fraudulent — meaning that Medicare paid out at least $48 billion due to health care fraud in that year alone. Whistleblower lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) have been the main tool the government has used to crack down on health care fraud. Specifically, an action may be brought under the Act for false or fraudulent Medicare, Medicaid, or TRICARE billing.

There are many ways in which companies or individuals can perpetrate fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. Recent cases that have settled include claims that large pharmaceutical companies used kickbacks to induce doctors to write prescriptions for the companies’ drugs. The government has also pursued cases in which pharmaceutical companies have marketed drugs for uses not approved by the FDA — a practice known as off-label marketing. Such claims are considered false because the marketing of drugs for unapproved uses is illegal, and also because in most circumstances, Medicare and Medicaid are not authorized to cover payment for such uses.

  • Billing for services not rendered
    • Nursing home billing for supplies never purchased
    • Physical therapist billing for services not provided
  • Falsely certifying individuals as eligible for Medicare or Medicaid benefits
    • Certifying individuals who are not terminally ill for hospice care
  • Upcoding
    • Manipulating coding to bill at a higher level than appropriate — an ambulance company billing for ALS (higher rate) runs when they are doing BLS (lower rate) runs
  • Unbundling
    • Manipulating billing to increase reimbursement — breaking up tests or procedures that are required to be billed as a bundle
  • Unnecessary tests or procedures
    • Inducing physicians to bill for add-on tests not normally included
  • False representations on cost reports
  • Billing for services improperly procured
    • Stark Act violations (improper physician referrals)
  • Best price violations
    • Pharmacy or pharmaceutical company not providing Medicare with best price on drugs

In addition to the federal False Claims Act, many states have their own false claims acts, allowing the states to also pursue local health care fraud claims, including claims involving Medicaid fraud.

What is Qui Tam?

Under the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), whistleblowers have the power to save taxpayers billions of dollars each year by taking a stand against fraud. The U.S. False Claims Act allows private citizens to file suits on the government’s behalf when the government has been defrauded through any federally funded contract or program. The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow these citizens to recover damages. A number of states and the city of Chicago also have laws similar to the False Claims Act to protect against fraud. To learn more about the different types of fraud … READ MORE

SEC Reports Another Historic Year for Whistleblowers

February 1, 2017 Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower program, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a historic fiscal year in 2016, reportedly awarding $57 million to whistleblowers who provided key information about misuse of government programs and contracts. The Dodd-Frank program…
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Dallas Attorney Patrick J. Wigle Honored by Texas Bar Foundation

February 10, 2017 Only the top 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys are invited to become a Fellow. DALLAS – Patrick Wigle, an attorney with Waters & Kraus, LLP, has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Patrick’s contributions to the legal profession. “This honor comes as no surprise to us. Patrick’s leadership qualities, exceptional dedication to the practice of law, and…
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What are my chances?

That’s the first question everyone asks. The truth is it’s impossible to know. But we can tell you this. Waters Kraus & Paul has what it takes to fight against big corporate interests and win. That’s why we’ve taken more mesothelioma trials to verdict than any other firm. And that’s why we’ve recovered more than $1.3 billion for clients like you. Do you think you have a case? Contact us now to speak with an attorney.

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