Medicaid and Medicare regulations prohibit kickbacks that perpetuate the referral of medical services and products for money or in-kind arrangements. The statutes also protect whistleblowers that report kickback schemes. Employers are not permitted to retaliate against the whistleblower and may be held liable for damages associated with adverse employment actions.
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a national civil litigation law firm that was founded almost 25 years ago. Our lawyers advocate for the rights of whistleblowers to do the right thing without suffering unlawful repercussions. We bring an action against the employer for retaliation and we may also bring an action on behalf of the government to recover a percentage of recouped losses.
What is a Kickback?
A kickback is the misappropriation of funds to enrich a person or company in return for a favor. In the medical industry, a kickback usually involves an improper payment in exchange for a referral in violation of Medicaid and Medicare laws. Various entities and professionals may be accused of running a kickback scheme, including doctors who steer patients to certain laboratories or imaging centers in exchange for a cut of the Medicaid payment or conversely, decision-makers in entities that receive money for sending patients to particular doctors. Receiving money for awarding a government contract in violation of the bidding process would also be a kickback and procurement fraud.
A kickback may be an offer, solicitation, payment or receipt of cash, in-kind remuneration, special treatment or other form of enrichment that violates federal health care standards. The act of accepting a kickback is seen as a cause of increased health care costs, unfair competition and corruption of the doctor-patient relationship.
Legal Prohibition Against Health Care Kickbacks
Kickbacks are considered a form of bribery and anti-competitive conduct. Employees who report kickbacks may have causes of actions under several federal laws, including:
- The False Claims Act. The whistleblower may have the right to a portion of money the government recovers based upon the whistleblower’s information. Our firm represents the whistleblower’s position in a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act.
Learn More About Rights of Whistleblowers After Reporting a Health Care Kickback Scheme
Learn more about health care fraud litigation and the rights of whistleblowers to report kickbacks. Schneider Wallace has offices in California, Texas and Puerto Rico and litigates in jurisdictions throughout the country in state and federal administrative agencies and courts.