December 15, 2016. On Wednesday, December 14th, The U.S. Justice Department announced that it recovered over $4.7 billion from False Claims Act (FCA) cases in 2016. Of those recoveries, $2.9 billion were recovered through cases initiated by whistleblowers. The Justice Department paid more than $519 million in whistleblower awards over the course of the year. This represents the continuation of a long trend of successful cooperation between whistleblowers and the Justice Department, and demonstrates the enormous success an effective whistleblower program can generate.
Continue Reading Over 60% of False Claims Act Recoveries Brought in by Whistleblowers in 2016!

The Department of Justice announced today that Medical device manufacturer ev3 Inc., formerly known as Fox Hollow Technologies Inc., has agreed to pay the United States $1.25 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that Fox Hollow caused certain hospitals to submit false claims to Medicare for unnecessary inpatient admissions related to minimally-invasive atherectomy procedures. 
Continue Reading U.S. Settles FCA Case Against Medical Device Manufacturer for $1.25 Million

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on January 9, 2015, that Daiichi Sankyo Inc., a global pharmaceutical company with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, agreed to pay the United States and state Medicaid programs $39 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.  The DOJ alleged that Daiichi was paying kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe Daiichi drugs, including Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor and Welchol.

“The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits payments intended to influence a physician’s ordering or prescribing decisions,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice is committed to preserving the independence and objectivity of those decisions, which are cornerstones of our public health programs.” 
Continue Reading Pharmaceutical Company Pays $39 Million to Settle False Claims Act Case

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (CHSPSC) and three affiliated New Mexico hospitals (collectively CHS) agreed to pay the United States $75 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act.  The government alleged that the defendants made illegal donations to county governments that were used to fund the state share of Medicaid payments that went back to the hospitals. 
Continue Reading Community Health Systems to Pay $75 Million in False Claims Act Settlement

Last Friday OSHA published an interim final rule, and invited public comment on whistleblower protections for reporting violations of Affordable Care Act’s health insurance reforms. The Affordable Care Act contains various provisions to make health insurance more affordable and accountable to consumers.
Continue Reading OSHA Announces Interim Rule on Whistleblower Protections for Reporting Violations of Affordable Care Act

Blood MedicineKathleen Sharp’s book about pharmaceutical whistleblower Mark Duxbury will be released in paperback on September 1, 2012. It is Blood Medicine: Blowing the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever. I had the pleasure of interviewing journalist Kathleen Sharp on November 15, 2011.

Mark Duxbury was a star salesman for a subsidiary

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) recently allowed a stay in the termination of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whistleblower, Paul T. Hardy. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) requested the stay on his behalf due to reasonable belief that Mr. Hardy’s recent termination from the FDA constituted a violation of the Whistleblowers Protection Act (WPA).

According to the OSC, there is substantial evidence that Mr. Hardy’s termination was a direct retaliation for disclosures he made about serious safety issues with a screening device designed to detect breast cancer. The OSC explained that Mr. Hardy’s whistleblowing “raised issues related to exposing the general population to unwarranted radiation exposure and ineffective cancer screening devices.”Continue Reading MSPB Approves Stay for FDA Whistleblower

Carolyn LernerSpecial Counsel Carolyn Lerner (pictured) announced today that she filed requests yesterday on behalf of two federal whistleblowers to protect them from adverse personnel actions. She filed the requests with the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) in support of Paul T. Hardy, a Regulatory Review Officer for the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), and Franz Gayl, a high-level civilian science and technology adviser to the U.S. Marines Corps.

These actions by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) were unprecedented in the prior administration. Today marks the beginning of new assertiveness by the OSC, and new grounds for optimism by federal employees at every level. Bravo!

Hardy and Gayl have endured hostility from management for years. It is long overdue that someone in government finally took a stand on their behalf. Thankfully, the newly installed Special Counsel is in just the right position to take that stand. Here in this corner, we are so pleased. Follow the continuation of this blog post to read more about Hardy and Gayl’s cases.Continue Reading Special Counsel moves to protect two whistleblowers