Bradley attorney Jason Mehta was quoted in Bloomberg Law on a practice that some healthcare attorneys say is somewhat rare but potentially concerning—doctors, hospitals, or other medical providers acting as False Claims Act whistleblowers. These cases, which are called qui tam suits in legal parlance, almost always lead to a government investigation into the defendants’ billing and business practices and sometimes result in multimillion-dollar settlements. Qui tams are more often filed by an employee or former employee against a medical practice or hospital, not by other competitors.
Mehta agreed that U.S. attorneys’ offices might “discount” a false claims allegation somewhat based on the source having conflicting interests. But that’s not the same as ruling them out.
“When I was a prosecutor, I looked at every qui tam that was filed,” said Mehta. He looked at about 100 cases during his five years with the department. “I would look at the allegations independent of the source of the allegations.”
Competitors aren’t the only whistleblowers with a potential conflict of interest, of course. Mehta and others have noted that most qui tam lawsuits come from employees or former employees, who also could have an ax to grind.
Reproduced with permission. Published Sep. 5, 2018. Copyright 2018 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com.