Protecting the Public with Whistleblower Protections
December 27th, 2015
The Star Tribune published an article today about how a mental health agency, Complementary Support Services, that was supposed to provide quality services to a vulnerable population, instead is reported to have engaged in rampant fraud that “bilked the state’s Medicaid program of millions of dollars and provided inadequate supervision of unlicensed practitioners.” That private agency is now the subject of a federal and state False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit that resulted from a report to the government by a former employee.
The False Claims Act is designed to encourage citizens to challenge conduct that cheats private agency clients and wrongfully takes taxpayers money to do so. It also provides whistleblower protection to employees who are treated badly or fired because they challenge, report or refuse to engage in illegal conduct. The goal of the law is to stop fraud in its tracks by encouraging oversight by employees, recipients of services and the public.
Employees, clients or anyone aware of the fraud can report it to the government. Because of the importance of his oversight, the federal and state False Claims Acts offer substantial monetary incentives to persons who identify actual illegal fraud. Lawyers who are knowledgeable and experienced in filing False Claims Act qui tam lawsuits can help you file a claim. If you are an employee or former employee they can also help you access available whistleblower protections.
It is a frightening proposition to accuse an employer or provider of fraud against the government. However, that is often the only way to get the fraud to stop. Today’s story about Complementary Support Services will hopefully give others the courage to step forward if they have had similar experiences.
The Star Tribune article is available at http://www.startribune.com/fraud-at-large-twin-cities-mental-health-agency-went-undetected-for-years-employees-say/363560331/.
Susan Coler, Halunen Law
A partner at Halunen law, Ms. Coler has experience filing and litigating False Claims Act lawsuits, including billing, Medicare, pharmaceutical, medical device, small business, and defense fraud.