An Important Law
The Federal False Claims Act and anesthesia is a topic worth considering. Of note, there are many federal laws in place that govern Medicare fraud and abuse. One of the most important laws that addresses fraud is the Federal False Claims Act. Most importantly, it allows private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the United States.
The False Claims Act protects the Federal Government from overcharging or selling substandard goods or services. Consequently it imposes civil liability on any person who knowingly submits, or causes the submission of, a false or fraudulent claim to the Federal Government. Of interest, this is a law that dates back to the Civil War era.
Knowledge of Wrongdoing
The terms “knowing” and “knowingly” mean a person has actual knowledge of the information or acts in deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information related to the claim. Furthermore, to violate the False Claims Act does not require proof of specific intent to defraud.
Qui Tam Complaint
The qui tam provision allows a person to file a qui tam action. Initially the government seals the qui tam complaint 60 days. Secondly, during this time the government will investigate the allegations and decide if it is proceeding with the action. Eventually if convinced by the case the government will prosecute. Finally, the individual who initially brought the case may receive between 15 and 25 percent of the amount recovered by the government.
Lack of Compliance Plan
Of importance is that the lack of a compliance plan increases the threat of Qui tam lawsuits. Indeed this act provides significant financial incentives for private citizens to come forward as whistleblowers.
In short, the Federal False Claims Act and anesthesia is a topic that cannot be taken lightly. Anesthesia providers should be prepared with an active compliance plan.
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