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CDC contractor pays $18 million to settle whistleblower allegations

A California pharmaceutical distributor has agreed to pay the U.S. $18 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that it improperly set temperature monitors in shipping vaccines while it was under contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide vaccine distribution services. The U.S. Justice Department said that San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation failed to comply with the shipping and handling requirements of its vaccine distribution contract with the CDC, which had contracted the company to receive vaccines purchased by the government from manufacturers and then distribute them health care providers. The CDC contract required McKesson to ensure ... Read More

Jury awards UC Davis whistleblower $730,000 in retaliation case

A former University of California Davis administrative nurse who sued the university for retaliating against her when she blew the whistle on an unethical research project received a $730,000 jury award. Janet Keyzer, a nurse for three decades with a Ph.D. in human and community development, filed her whistleblower complaint in June 2010 in Sacramento Superior Court, alleging her career was destroyed after the university took a series of retaliatory actions against her. The plaintiff worked as a researcher for the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research for more than nine years before she was allegedly fired in ... Read More

Whistleblower sues Milwaukee aircraft manufacturer, others for deliberately overcharging government

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of a Milwaukee-based aircraft manufacturer alleges the company used special software to hide illegal markups on bills it submitted to the U.S. Defense Department for reimbursement on aircraft parts. Plaintiff Mary Patzer, a former financial analyst and assistant controller at Derco Aerospace Inc., filed the lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of the federal government under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The case was unsealed this week by federal judge Rudolph Randa. Ms. Patzer alleges that Derco, its parent company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of ... Read More

Savannah hospital faces whistleblower allegations of false claims, wrongful retaliation

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Memorial Health Inc. and an affiliated physicians group for filing allegedly fraudulent claims for Medicare reimbursement that stemmed from improper physician referrals and illegal financial relationships. The lawsuit, filed in a Savannah federal court, is based on the allegations of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Memorial Health President/CEO Phillip Schaengold in April 2011 under the False Claims Act, which allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. After Memorial Health hired him in June 2009, Mr. Schaengold began a comprehensive analysis of the hospital’s financial ... Read More

Top U.S. hospital system will pay $98 million to resolve whistleblowers’ fraud allegations

A Tennessee-based hospital system has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $98 million to resolve lawsuits filed by several whistleblowers who alleged the company cheated Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs through fraudulent billing practices. The U.S. Justice Department said that Community Health Systems Inc., the largest operator of acute-care hospitals in the U.S., will pay $98.15 million to resolve the lawsuits, which multiple physicians, nurses, other caregivers, and administrators filed under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers accused 119 Community Health Systems hospitals of improperly billing the federal government ... Read More

Mobile health care system, affiliates settle whistleblower lawsuit for $24.5 million

Alabama’s largest non-government health care system, two affiliated clinics, and a physicians group have agreed to pay the U.S. $24.5 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging they violated the False Claims Act and anti-kickback laws by paying or receiving kickbacks in connection with Medicare claims, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. According to the Justice Dept., Infirmary Health System Inc. in Mobile, Ala., and two affiliated clinics, IMC Diagnostic and Medical Clinic in Mobile and IMC Northside Clinic in Saraland, had illegal agreements with Diagnostic Physicians Group P.C. in Mobile through which the hospital and clinics gave the ... Read More

U.S. intervenes in whistleblower lawsuit against Symantec

The U.S. government has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against Symantec Corporation that alleges the company, contracted by the U.S. General Services Administration to provide security software services, defrauded the agency by submitting false claims. Lori Morsell, a former Symantec employee, filed the lawsuit in the District of Columbia under the False Claims Act, which allows individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government when they have solid, original evidence of fraud and other wrongdoing committed against a U.S. government agency or program. Ms. Morsell alleges in her lawsuit that Symantec knowingly falsified information about the prices it offered ... Read More

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day aims to celebrate those who expose fraud, misconduct

On July 30, 2013, the U.S. Senate designated July 30 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” in an effort to celebrate the courage of past and present whistleblowers, encourage and help protect would-be whistleblowers, and to honor the intentions of the founding fathers of the Unites States, who understood the importance of calling out fraud and other wrongdoing harmful to the newly formed nation. This July 30 will mark the 236th anniversary of the nation’s very first whistleblower legislation, which members of the Continental Congress unanimously ratified and enacted in 1778. That legislation, triggered by an incident in 1777 in which ... Read More

Florida hospital spent $24 million in taxpayer money fighting whistleblower lawsuit

A Florida hospital that settled a whistleblower’s allegations of fraud with the U.S. Justice Department earlier this year used millions of dollars in taxpayer money to defend itself in the case, Florida’s WFTV reported. According to an investigative report by Orlando’s WFTV, Daytona Beach-based Halifax Health Medical Center “tried to keep the rates it has paid its attorneys a secret” in violation of public records laws, but a lawsuit finally exposed the figures, showing that the hospital paid one law firm $350,000 per month for more than four years to defend itself in the False Claims Act lawsuit. “WFTV found ... Read More

Whistleblower complaints on the rise in Defense Department after passage of new law

The passage of a law last July enhancing whistleblower rights and protections for U.S. Defense Department employees and contractors may have encouraged more Defense workers to come forward with allegations of fraud and other wrongdoing, according to figures reported by the Department of Defense inspector general’s office. Since August 2013, a month after the new law went into effect, the rate of complaints from Defense Department whistleblowers increased from four per month to six per month. The Defense Department has received more than 200 whistleblower complaints as of Jan. 1. The complaints involve allegations of fraud, waste and abuse, public ... Read More