Healthcare fraud is becoming more problematic and intricate every day. One might tend to believe that once a case is settled, that is basically the end of the matter; the bad guys have been made somehow accountable, the government recovers moneys lost, the whistleblower becomes the hero and gets a reward.
Unfortunately, healthcare providers given to fraudulent behavior seem to have found a way to try to get back some of the money they should never have received from Medicare/Medicaid in the first place. Namely, some of them have begun to sue their legal counsel, alleging that they “didn’t know” they were breaking the law. A recent case involving Tuomey Healthcare System, a North Carolina-based hospital, has put this particular legal strategy at the forefront of whistleblower news.
Michael Drakeford, Tuomey Healthcare Whistleblower, Alleged Kickbacks
In October 2015, Tuomey had reached a $72.4 million settlement with the government in a False Claims Act lawsuit initiated by whistleblower Michael Drakeford. The case, which spanned over 10 years and included various appeals, was based on allegations that Tuomey had violated the Stark law by entering into certain employment arrangements with physicians in exchange for referrals. The DOJ eventually agreed, and Tuomey was forced to settle, as it was faced with the risk of losing over $200 million in a potential trial....