On a regular basis, HHS-OIG releases the results of its audits, examining the high rate of overpayments by Medicare contractors. Oftentimes, the Reports include general recommendations and admonishments about how the government should do a better job policing Medicare contractors to avoid overpaying them.
Dishonest healthcare providers oftentimes engaged in a “finders’ keepers” approach to the receipt of Medicare overpayments. Remarkably, until the False Claims Act Amendments of 2009, the False Claims Act was largely ineffective in reaching those billing practices. Now that the liability loophole has been closed, providers cannot simply turn a blind eye and pocket Medicare overpayments.
In the wake of the 2009 legislation, providers must promptly and fully report, explain, and return all overpayments within sixty days of identifying the erroneous payment. Now that the government and potential whistleblowers are armed with a fully loaded False Claims Act, the time is ticking for dishonest healthcare providers who wrongfully retain overpayments of Medicare and Medicaid funds.
For more information about qui tam law and Medicare fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, P.A.