Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Texas reaps rewards of whistleblower cases



A new report issued by the Taxpayers Against FraudEducation Fund highlights the substantial benefits states realize from adopting false claims laws. Fighting MedicaidFraud in Texas, authored by economists Jack Meyer and Chris Wolff of Health Management Associates, examines the recoveries made in the past six years under the Texas False Claims Act (formerly the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act). 

From 2006 to 2012, Texas recovered over $821 million for both state and federal taxpayers under the state and federal false claims law. More than $800 million of that total is due to whistleblower-initiated cases. Close to half -- over $394 million -- resulted directly from cases that were investigated and prosecuted by the state under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.

Initiatives by Texas to investigate and prosecute fraud under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act have been very successful,” the report said.

Texas received more than $348 million out of the $821 million that was recovered. The amount recovered far exceeds the budget for the Texas attorney general’s anti-fraud staff over the same period, which was between $4.75 million and $8.45 million per year. The remaining $473 million was returned to the U.S. Treasury. Total recoveries under the federal False Claims Act since 1987 exceed $35 billion plus billions more recovered as a result of related criminal fines. 

Currently Texas is one of only 32 states that have statutes with whistleblower reward provisions. The other states are missing out on similar success.