How the government protects and rewards medical whistleblowers

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2020 | Whistleblower Protection |

People working in the medical profession have the trust not only of their patients but of society at large. Medical offices are one of few businesses that can directly bill the United States government for services rendered.

Medical practices that accept Medicare and Medicaid have an obligation to not just the patients under their care but the public who funds these insurance programs to adhere to the rules regarding government insurance billing practices.

Sadly, medical fraud often stems from inappropriate behavior on the part of medical practices. If you have seen strange, unethical or obviously illegal things taking place at the facility where you work, you may want to report medical insurance fraud. The government offers you both protection and an incentive for doing so.

Those who report wrongdoing receive whistleblower protection

Holding your employer or at least some of your co-workers accountable for illegal behavior can make you a pariah at your place of employment, at least temporarily. Both your co-workers and those in management positions may treat you differently. In fact, some people find themselves subject to abuse or retaliation for reporting unethical and illegal actions.

Whistleblower protections apply to anyone who reports illegal activity on the part of their employer. Once you take a stand, the company cannot terminate you or otherwise penalize you for speaking up about illegal business practices. If they do, you may be able to bring a claim against them for retaliation.

Those who help the government recover money can receive compensation

There are also financial incentives for those who speak up about illegal insurance billing practices. Specifically, the False Claims Act allows those aware of illegal actions on behalf of their employer to bring qui tam action on behalf of the federal government. In a qui tam claim, you initiate civil proceedings on behalf of the government and can potentially receive a small percent of the total amount recovered due to the lawsuit you file.

If you suspect insurance fraud at your place of employment, discussing your need for whistleblower protections and the possibility of compensation due to a qui tam claim with a lawyer can help you make the best decision to protect yourself and your professional future.