Our experienced Long Term Care Whistleblower Lawyers help victims, families and health care professionals fight the current epidemic of long term care resident abuse and neglect and related medical malpractice.
Federal and state whistleblower laws offer large cash awards and protections for individuals willing to report evidence of resident abuse, neglect, assault or other cases that qualify as fraud against government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
With over 30 years’ experience fighting for the rights of long term care, nursing home and hospice abuse and neglect victims and their families, our diligent, aggressive Long Term Care Whistleblower Lawyers have helped hundreds of individuals who report neglect or abuse at the hands of nursing facilities protect their rights and maximize their whistleblower cash awards.
If you or a family member is considering reporting long-term care fraud, it is important to be able to (1) understand what qualifies as long term care fraud and (2) understand whistleblower rights and options under the law.
A quick and easy reference for:
- Legal rights of long term care whistleblowers
- Common types of long term care fraud
- How to report long term care fraud
- How to maximize your whistleblower cash award
This Elder Law Info post is organized as follows:
- Who are Long Term Care Whistleblowers?
- Common signs of long term care fraud, abuse, or neglect.
- False Claims Act whistleblower program.
- Cash awards available for people who blow the whistle on LTC misconduct.
- Anti-retaliation protection for people who report misconduct.
- Steps you must follow to file a whistleblower report and reward claim.
- What happens after you file your report and reward claim?
- Time limits for filing a claim.
- How to find and qualify an experienced whistleblower lawyer and law firm.
Who Are Long Term Care Whistleblowers?
By 1964, over 76.4 million baby boomers comprised nearly 40% of the American population. Currently, the oldest baby boomers are over 60, and by 2030, approximately one in every five Americans will be over 65.
An estimated 70% of those turning 65 will require the services of a long term care facility (personal home care, nursing home residency, assisted living care or other residential care service).
Annual spending on long term care in the U.S. is currently over $280 billion. Approximately 80% of these expenses are paid through state Medicaid programs, Medicare, and veterans programs like TRICARE.
These government-funded programs require that long term care facilities provide a high standard of care and distribute funds in a way that ensures this quality level of care.
Unfortunately, many long term care facilities take advantage of government-funded programs in an attempt to make a profit. Corrupt activities like double billing, illegal kickbacks, shortcuts in staffing, billing for inadequate services, falsification of medical records and off-label drug marketing violate federal and state False Claims Acts, put financial gain over the interest of the patient, and result in the abuse and neglect of our loved ones.
Through government initiatives like the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team and the Elder Justice and Nursing Home Initiative, the government enforces the False Claims Act against nursing facilities and other long term care providers that knowingly bill Medicaid or Medicare for services that are not provided or are so inadequate they may be rendered worthless.
While these government programs investigate and prosecute cases of long term care fraud, they rely on whistleblowers – insiders with access to the inner workings of long term care facilities - to discover and report incidents of fraud.
Long term care whistleblowers include any individual with original source, non-public information on fraud against a government program, including but not limited to:
- Family members
- Medical device representatives
- Financial officers
Among the nation’s premier whistleblower lawyers, with recent wins including the largest whistleblower settlement in U.S. history ($16 billion) and a recent $92 million verdict, we represent individuals associated with or working in long term care facilities who have evidence of long term care resident abuse, neglect or other cases that qualify as fraud against government programs.
In essence, when a facility provides less care than promised to Medicare and then bills for the promised care – it’s fraud and a way to stop that misconduct is to file a whistleblower report, for which you may also be eligible for a substantial whistleblower award.
You can help us win the fight against long term care resident abuse and neglect. If you feel you have knowledge of long term care fraud and want to learn more about available cash whistleblower awards, contact us today for a fully confidential, no cost legal consultation.
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Common Signs of Long Term Care Fraud
Government-funded health care programs demand a specific standard of care. When a long term care provider supplies inadequate care or poor quality services and submits claims for those services, or falsifies information supporting a claim for payment, that provider may be violating the False Claims Act.
Common signs of fraud in long term care facilities include:
- Inadequate staffing, equipment or resources
- Unlicensed or insufficiently trained staff
- Poor care standard, neglect or abuse
- Misrepresentation of services
- Falsification of medical records
- Staffing up prior to inspection
- Illegal kickbacks
- Unbundling and upcoding
- Off label marketing
Learning to recognize an incident of fraud when you come across it can potentially qualify you for a long term care whistleblower cash award.
If you suspect any of the following activity is occurring in a long term care facility, contact us right away to learn more about your rights and options as a long term care whistleblower.
Inadequate Staffing, Equipment Or Resources
When a physician, nurse or long term care resident is faced with a constant shortage of staff, equipment that is difficult to locate or is non-functioning, and/or other supplies or services that are constantly overbooked or poorly operated, the long term care residents and patients inevitably suffer from a lack of adequate care – and potentially face dangerous situations.
Many corrupt long-term care facilities choose to keep staff levels at a bare minimum, refuse to maintain functioning equipment and supplies, and take other similar shortcuts in an attempt to profit from Medicaid, Medicare and other government-funded healthcare programs.
When a facility submits a claim for payment to Medicaid or Medicare for services that do not meet the required high standard of care, that facility may be violating the False Claims Act – the primary whistleblower law.
Unlicensed or Insufficiently Trained Staff
Another tactic that dishonest long term care facilities use to illegally profit from Medicaid, Medicare or TRICARE is to allow unlicensed or untrained staff to perform certain services.
While hiring untrained staff or letting unqualified personnel perform certain duties may save a facility money and time, unqualified staff providing treatments or writing prescriptions for patients and residents raises the potential for life-threatening mistakes.
Medicare and Medicaid require that all treatments, surgeries and other services are performed by qualified, licensed and/or credentialed staff.
When a facility submits a claim for payment to Medicaid or Medicare for services performed by unqualified or insufficiently trained staff, that facility may violate the False Claims Act. No “mistake” or error on behalf of the untrained staff member is necessary to file a long term care whistleblower claim.
The fact that the staff member is performing services they are unqualified for is enough to file a claim.
Poor Care Standards, Neglect or Abuse
Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs only supply valuable taxpayer dollars to long term care facilities who meet a specific standard of care. When a nursing home, hospice, assisted living facility or other long term care provider neglects a patient, fails to supply prescribed medications or treatments, fails to assist with hygiene or other mobility needs, uses physical force or aggression, participates in unauthorized or inappropriate physical or chemical restraint, fails to provide proper nutritional needs, fails to maintain a clean and safe environment for the resident (including providing working plumbing, electricity and other necessities), or fails in any other aspect of the resident’s well-being and then bills Medicaid or Medicare for its services, that long term care facility violates the False Claims Act.
Misrepresentation of Services
Another example of fraud against government-funded health care programs includes the deceitful representation of patient numbers, diagnoses or care plans.
Dishonest long term care facilities may attempt to profit from Medicaid, Medicare or TRICARE by reporting false information on medical records, documents, care plans, or patient population charts.
This category includes diagnosing a terminal illness to either admit a healthy Medicare beneficiary to a hospice facility, or to perform costly, yet medically unnecessary treatments on a healthy beneficiary.
All treatments must be medically necessary and performed by qualified staff. False diagnosis can be difficult to detect, but laboratory test results or radiographs that suggest a false diagnosis can be strong evidence of fraud. Long term care facilities may also falsify treatment schedules in an attempt to obtain payment for services that were never performed or for medically unnecessary services.
In addition, reporting a false bed count to increase Medicare or Medicaid payments is another form of False Claims Act violation.
Falsification off Medical Records
Like the misrepresentation mentioned above, falsifying medical records is another way long term care facilities may attempt to profit from a government program that violates the False Claims Act.
Even slight modifications to medical records are serious issues, as these slight modifications are likely occurring more often than you realize. Alterations of or false recordings of names, dates, times, medication dosages, treatment staff, treatment procedures, diagnoses or any other information on medical records is illegal. All treatments must be medically necessary and performed by qualified staff.
Anyone who notices the falsification of medical records should contact a long term care whistleblower lawyer right away to learn their options in reporting this information and putting a stop to a dangerous practice.
Staffing Up Prior to Inspection
Suddenly increasing staff numbers before a facility inspection is a major warning sign that the long term care facility is not functioning at the level required by law. Inspections are meant to evaluate the function of a facility occurring on a daily basis.
When a facility scrambles to double the staff, repair long-broken lighting plumbing or other neglected maintenance issues, replace broken equipment, move in new equipment, or implement new activities for residents that are not normally provided, it often means that the facility is attempting to hide deficiencies from regulators.
Make note of any noticeable changes that occur in the long term care facility prior to inspection by a regulatory agency. These changes may indicate inadequacies and illegal practices occurring within your facility, knowledge of which may qualify you for a whistleblower cash award.
Offering gifts or cash to physicians, pharmacies, other facilities or medical transport services in exchange for patient referrals or other services violates the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Laws. When a physician, pharmaceutical service or other medical provider bases their patient care decisions on financial gain, the patient does not receive the quality of care they need.
A pharmacist who knows she will earn an elaborate vacation for recommending a specific medication is not considering whether a patient will benefit from that medication over another, perhaps more relevant, medication. A doctor who refers a patient to a specialist who pays him a check for referrals may not recommend the specialist that is best for that patient.
If you are a doctor, nurse, pharmaceutical sales representative or other individual who has been offered referral compensation, bonus, a speaker’s fee, finder’s fee, discount or free travel, you may qualify for a cash whistleblower award ranging in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Make note of any such offers and call us to learn your rights and options under the False Claims Act.
Unbundling And Upcoding
Billing schemes like unbundling and upcoding are a favorite among fraudulent long term care facilities. Many long term care facilities are required to submit claims for reimbursement using the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System from the American Medical Association’s Current Procedure Terminology.
This system assigns certain billing codes to treatments and services. Corrupt facilities may attempt to maximize their reimbursement through “unbundling” or “upcoding.”
Providing a service to a patient, then assigning a more expensive code to that service when submitting a claim for payment is a type of long term care fraud known as upcoding.
Similarly, long term care facilities who unbundle services and charge for each component separately to obtain higher reimbursement, rather than following regulations requiring that the service be billed as a package, or “bundled” cost under a single code, may be violating the False Claims Act. Medical billing clerks and bookkeepers, as well as treatment staff, may recognize these discrepancies in billing codes. If so, they could qualify for a long term care whistleblower cash award.
Off Label Marketing
Marketing drugs or medical devices for uses not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considered “off-label marketing” and a dangerous, yet common practice. When a pharmaceutical company markets drugs for off-label uses, it endangers patients and wastes valuable taxpayer dollars meant for the safe treatment of patients.
Drug companies and medical device manufacturers who want to increase profits on their new invention may choose to come up with several alternative applications of their drug or device.
A drug approved to treat condition “A” may not get much use, especially when condition “A” is rare. So the drug manufacturer may market the drug for both condition “A” and condition “B” (an FDA unapproved use). Any long term care facility that bills Medicare or Medicaid for treatments involving these unapproved uses of drugs or devices violates the False Claims Act. Billion-dollar settlements have come out of False Claims Act cases involving off-label marketing practices.
If you are a health care professional, long term care patient or family member who suspects a long-term care facility may be violating the law or not meeting proper standards of care, contact us immediately. We want to help and will Confidentially explain your options.
Learn More about Long Term Care Fraud Whistleblower Claims
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False Claims Act Whistleblower Program
Choosing to blow the whistle on the corrupt actions of a long term care facility can seem daunting, especially for those whistleblowers who are facility employees.
The government understands this and offers individuals with knowledge of fraud some significant incentives – including large cash awards and powerful anti-retaliation protections – to come forward and report their information.
Federal False Claims Act
Enacted in 1863 during the Civil War era, the federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C.§§ 3729–3733) still stands as America’s largest and most successful whistleblower award program. Each year, taxpayers and government health care programs recover billions of dollars because of lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.
Because cases of fraud are often committed behind closed doors and can be difficult to detect by regulatory agencies, the federal False Claims Act was enacted to allow company insiders with knowledge of fraud to file lawsuits against fraudsters on behalf of the government.
These private citizens are entitled to collect a percentage of the total government recovery in a successful lawsuit and are offered significant protections against employer retaliation. False Claims Act lawsuits are sometimes called “qui tam lawsuits,” with the whistleblower being the “qui tam plaintiff” or “relator.”
What is a “false claim”?
Every time a company bills the government for or receives government funds from a government-funded program, it makes a claim for payment. In order to get paid, the recipients of these funds must certify that they are compliance with all applicable government regulations.
Any time a company lies about its compliance, the claim is considered a false claim. Under the False Claims Act, any person or company that knowingly submits a false claim to the government can be liable for civil penalties of between $10,781.40 and $21,562.80 per false claim, plus three times the amount of each false claim (treble damages) and costs of litigation.
For example, when a long term care facility joins the Medicare program, it agrees to provide certain standards of care put forth by Medicare in exchange for government support. If this facility decides to cheat these standards of care by allowing an unlicensed physical therapist to treat one of its patients, and subsequently bills Medicare for that treatment procedure, it has submitted a false claim to Medicare and therefore violated the False Claims Act.
With the enormous amount of claims submitted to Medicare on a daily basis, it can be difficult to spot this type of violation.
This is where the whistleblower comes in.
Assume that a nurse walks into the physical therapy session and is surprised to find that a hospital volunteer is providing the physical therapy for a patient. The nurse knows that this volunteer is not trained or licensed to do this sort of work. That nurse now has inside knowledge of a False Claims Act violation, is eligible to file a whistleblower lawsuit, and potentially eligible to collect a cash award.
False Claims Act violations are much more common than one would think. But detecting these violations can be difficult, even when violations are carried out right in front of your eyes.
For example, busy staff members may rush past a hospital volunteer performing physical therapy without a second look. Busy bookkeepers and billing clerks may rush through medical records to submit their claims, without considering whether coding for those claims is correct. This is why familiarizing yourself with the various types of violations is important.
Keep an eye out for the types of fraud mentioned earlier in this guide. If you have questions as to whether a violation has occurred, feel free to contact us and ask if that violation qualifies you for a whistleblower cash award.
A whistleblower need not prove that an individual or agency intended to defraud the government. The False Claims Act is violated when an individual or agency knows of the false claim and acts with deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard of that false claim. Even an unreported mistake in accounting can constitute a false claim, as long as the mistake is known.
In addition to the federal False Claims Act, many U.S. states have their own state False Claims Acts that may provide additional rights and protections to long term care whistleblowers.
Contact us to learn more about the whistleblower laws in your state.
If you suspect a nursing home or other long-term care facility is violating the False Claims Act, you may have a claim for a whistleblower cash award. Our long term care whistleblower attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping families and health care employees deal with cases of long term care fraud.
Contact us now to find out how whether you have a case.
Learn More about Long Term Care Whistleblower Claims
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Cash Awards Available For Long Term Care Whistleblowers
Financial incentive is a valuable tool that the government uses to urge those with information on fraud to come forward and is a large contributor to the ongoing success of the False Claims Act whistleblower program.
When a whistleblower lawsuit is successful in recovering stolen government dollars, the whistleblower is entitled to between 15% and 30% of the total amount recovered as payment for their efforts.
Whistleblowers whose information leads to successful government recovery are also paid amounts to cover reasonable attorneys’ fees and the expenses and costs of litigation. Because these types of lawsuits often involve millions to billions of dollars in stolen funds, the whistleblower cash award is often measured in millions of dollars.
To qualify for a long term care whistleblower cash award, the whistleblower must have “original source” information regarding fraud against a government-funded program like Medicare or Medicaid. Original source information is information that is not available to the public, either through the media, Internet, court documents or other public sources.
In addition, the whistleblower must qualify as “first-to-file.”
The False Claims Act contains a first-to-file bar that allows only the first person who reports an incident of fraud to become eligible to collect the cash award. If you come across a incidence of fraud in your workplace or other long term care facility, it is possible that another employee has too.
This is why it is critical to contact an experienced long term care whistleblower attorney the minute you suspect fraud. Groups of individuals are allowed to file a whistleblower claim and share the award amount, but the group must be the first to report the information and file a claim.
While we know that a long term care whistleblower who is the first to file their original source information is entitled to between 15% and 30% of the total government recovery, how does the court determine the exact amount of the award?
The exact amount of a whistleblower cash award is determined based on a number of variables, including:
- Government recovery amount via settlement or verdict
- Whether the government chooses to intervene
- Significance of the whistleblower’s original source information
- Extent to which the whistleblower aids the investigation
- Extent to which the whistleblower participated in the illegal activity
- Timeliness of the whistleblower claim
- First to file status
- Adherence to whistleblower claim filing procedure
Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are entitled to between 15% and 25% of the government recovery amount when the government choses to intervene in a whistleblower case. The award amount increases to between 25% and 30% when the government does not intervene and the whistleblower continues with his or her own private counsel.
Consulting an experienced long term care whistleblower attorney is crucial to maximizing the whistleblowers cash award amount.
Not only does the long term care whistleblower attorney help the whistleblower collect evidence and offer investigative services to obtain proof of fraud, an experienced long term care attorney understands the legal complexities of the whistleblower claim process, how to adhere to filing procedures and how to meet the deadlines required for each specific case.
Your cash award amount depends heavily on the ability and experience of the attorney you choose to guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can maximize your whistleblower cash reward amount.
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Anti-Retaliation Protections for Whistleblowers (Protecting your job)
Courts and the Department of Justice are very protective of whistleblowers.
Long term care whistleblowers who care about quality treatment of patients and residents have unique access to the inside information the government needs to fight long term care fraud. Because of this, the federal False Claims Act offers protection for long term care whistleblowers. Most states have their own whistleblower protection laws as well.
Federal False Claims Act Protections
When a long term care employee or other individual suspects fraud is occurring within a care facility, and chooses to voice their concerns about that activity, either to an internal supervisor or externally, the employer may panic and respond by firing, demoting, threatening or harassing that employee.
Under the False Claims Act, this type of employer retaliation in response to “efforts to stop one or more violations” of the False Claims Act is illegal. In some situations, it is also illegal for a long term health facility to impose policies that prevent the ability of its employees to report suspicions of fraudulent activity.
Today, many employers simply place suspected whistleblowers on paid administrative leave. Most companies know that firing someone for being a whistleblower is illegal and expensive. Instead they would rather negotiate a settlement and keep the matter hush hush.
Some employers, however, want to make an example out of whistleblowers. When that happens, we step in and file a retaliation claim.
When an employer chooses to retaliate against an employee for voicing their concerns about a potential False Claims Act violation, the consequences can be expensive. Under the federal FCA, whistleblowers who experience workplace retaliation are entitled to remedies including:
- Job reinstatement with the same seniority status as prior to discrimination
- Twice the amount of back pay
- Interest on the back pay
- Compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination
- Litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees
Employees have up to three years to file a False Claims Act retaliation claim against that employer in federal court.
If you have a pending False Claims Act lawsuit, filing the retaliation case becomes tricky. Because the whistleblower suit itself is under seal (secret), the retaliation case can’t be served on the wrongdoer.
That means the case is on hold while the government’s investigation proceeds. In this situation, we can become creative and use another whistleblower program or anti retaliation law and craft an action that can be brought immediately.
It is important to remember that, even though you may have taken efforts to stop one or more violations of the False Claims Act and were subsequently fired, an employer can still fire you for being a bad employee.
If you have filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a long term care employer, don’t fail to keep up your work performance. Some corrupt employers may try to set up whistleblowers for failure so they have an excuse to fire them and get them out of the company before they can gather more evidence.
We urge our clients to do two things when they are planning to become a whistleblower:
- Stay in constant communication with your long term care whistleblower attorney. We can help develop a strategy to protect you from being fired and tell you what to say to trigger the anti-retaliation safeguards.
- Start keeping a diary of the times and dates of all activity relevant to your whistleblower case and any potential retaliatory activity on behalf of your employer – making sure the diary isn’t kept at work or on a work computer.
These two precautions can help ensure that your rights and privileges as a whistleblower are protected throughout the process.
Other Legal Whistleblower Protections
In addition to the federal False Claims Act, many U.S. states have their own legal protections for whistleblowers that may or may not apply to your specific case.
These include state Whistleblower Protection Acts, state False Claims Acts and specific whistleblower protection acts for health care employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) (29 U.S.C. § 660(c)) offers protection for employees and others who choose to report safety violations at health care facilities that put patients or employees in danger, including physical abuse, neglect or unsafe environmental conditions.
Don’t let threats of job loss or demotion prevent you from voicing your concerns or providing the care you know your patients need.
If you have seen actions involving resident care that make you uncomfortable or if you are lacking the staffing, equipment or supplies required to care for your residents, we can help. Contact us to learn about your rights as a whistleblower and how we can help improve the lives of your patients.
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Steps To Filing A Successful Whistleblower Claim
You have come across some suspicious activity in a long term care facility that you feel may violate the False Claims Act. What should you do now?
Report your knowledge internally?
Will reporting this effect your job or career?
Who should you contact to file for a potential whistleblower cash award?
Is it okay to take documents from your long term care facility to help prove your case?
The sequence of steps you take once you come across a potential False Claims Act violation in a long term care facility is critical. It can mean the difference between losing or winning a potential million dollar whistleblower cash award.
If you take nothing else away from this guide, remember the following 4 steps to filing a long term care whistleblower claim.
Step #1: Contact A Long Term Care Whistleblower Lawyer Immediately!
This is the most important step to ensure your rights are protected and your case is built solid from the very start. Contact an experienced long term care whistleblower lawyer the moment you suspect fraud may be occurring in a facility.
Call before you report your suspicions to your co-workers, supervisor or other internal source, before you contact the government or a hotline, before you being collecting documents or other evidence.
Your call is completely confidential and we will be able to answer all of your questions.
Our network of long term care facility whistleblower attorneys work in concert with the U.S. Department of Justice, Elder Justice Initiative, HHS offices, state Attorneys General, Medicaid Fraud Enforcement Units and other agencies to hold health care offenders accountable.
When you call 833.201.1555 or Connect with us Online, you can speak with a long term care whistleblower attorney best for your location and specific case criteria.
Some long term care facilities may have policies and procedures for employees to confidentially report suspected fraud internally to a supervisor or other administrator.
Still, it is critical that you contact an experienced long term care whistleblower attorney PRIOR to any internal report.
Your attorney can help you craft your language appropriately and guide you through the internal reporting procedure in a way that protects your rights as a whistleblower and your long term career.
Step #2: Protect Your Information
To be eligible for a whistleblower award, you must protect your information as “original source.” Do not share it with anyone but your lawyer.
Even speaking about your situation with a friend can result in an innocent leak to the media – meaning your information is no longer original source and no longer eligible for the cash award. Because of “first to file” requirements, if anyone else reports your specific information, you lose your eligibility for the cash award.
Your lawyer will lead you through the appropriate reporting procedures while safeguarding your information, protecting you from illegal retaliation, and helping to maximize your cash award amount.
Step #3: Keep A Detailed Diary
Create a safe place to log information, including specific dates, times, incidents, phone numbers, places, names of relevant individuals and lists of important documents that have any relationship to your original information regarding a potential violation. Remember to keep information that may relate to a retaliation claim as well.
Do not keep this diary at work or in a public computer and do not send any information via your work email account.
Step #4: Follow Proper Procedures For Gathering Evidence
Evidence can be critical to the success of a long term care whistleblower claim. Important evidence may include memos, invoices, bills, medical records, treatment plans, contracts and agreements, payroll information, emails, text messages, database content, scanned images, radiographs, PDFs and other such evidence. However, collecting this evidence can prove a delicate situation in the health care field.
Employees must comply with HIPAA and care facility protocol requirements when handling protected health information.
First, list the important piece of evidence and where it can be found (file cabinet, computer network folder) in your diary.
Second, never forward, copy or collect the evidence for yourself until you consult with your experienced long term care attorney who is familiar with protected health information requirements.
We can help you determine what documents or evidence are helpful for your case and whether you can legally take these documents from the workplace.
Any evidence taken in violation of the law may not be admissible and may get you into trouble. We can guide you through this process and are always available to answer any specific questions you may have as they arise.
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What Happens After Filing A Claim?
After your long term care whistleblower case is filed, the government has 60 days to investigate your claims.
In some cases, the court gives prosecutors more time, usually six months or longer. Your long term care whistleblower case will typically be assigned to a local assistant U.S. attorney where the case was filed. If the case has national interest, the Justice Department in Washington DC may also assign one or more trial attorneys to the case.
False Claims Act lawsuits are filed “under seal” and remain sealed until the government has reviewed the case.
Once the government completes its investigation, the court will likely order it unsealed, meaning the case becomes public. Depending on where it is filed and what the complaint says, the claim may gather the attention of reporters.
Although whistleblower retaliation is illegal, if you are considering a new job, the best time to look is while the case remains under seal, in most cases at least six months from the date the claim is filed – sometimes longer.
Some courts allow long term care whistleblowers to file the case under the name of a separate entity to help protect the whistleblowers identity. While those efforts are fairly effective, we counsel everyone to assume that your identity will be revealed at some point.
Once the government’s investigation is complete, the Justice Department must decide what direction it wants to take. They can either take over the case, decline the case or tell the court there is no case. If the government opts to intervene in your long term care whistleblower case, it will lead the prosecution with the assistance of the whistleblower and the long term care whistleblower attorney.
The Justice Department intervenes in approximately 20% of the cases filed. So, what happens to the other 80%? If the government chooses not to intervene in the case, the whistleblower and long term care whistleblower attorney can continue the lawsuit on their own.
This where having an excellent attorney makes all the difference.
If the government tells the court there simply is not a viable case, the court can dismiss the action. Believe it or not, that does not happen often. For many cases, the government simply takes no action, either because they lack resources for investigation, they are too busy, the case is too small or that they simply have doubts regarding your claims.
This is also where having an excellent attorney makes all the difference. An experienced long term care whistleblower attorney has national recognition, knows their way around the federal courtroom, has the investigative resources to gather all appropriate evidence and knows how to grab authorities’ attention when filing a claim.
Becoming a whistleblower makes you part of a very elite group of people. In 2016, the 700+ whistleblowers who brought False Claims Act complaints that were accepted by the Department of Justice recovered billions of dollars and were instrumental in cleaning up some frightening business practices.
In the case of long term care facilities, whistleblowers may well save lives. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions about your case.
Call now for a free, confidential, no-obligation case consultation. Learn how to stop the misconduct and learn your eligibility for a whistleblower cash award.
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Time Limits for Filing A Claim (Statutes of Limitation)
Act fast! Do not hesitate to contact a long term care whistleblower attorney the minute you suspect a False Claims Act violation.
Several important deadlines exist across the process and missing any one of them can impede your ability to file your claim.
Under the federal False Claims Act, a whistleblower lawsuit must be brought:
- Within 6 years after the date on which the violation is committed, or
- Within 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known, and
- No longer than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed.
A civil action under the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal False claims act must be brought within 3 years of the date the retaliation occurred. In addition, many applicable state whistleblower laws impose strict time limits for whistleblowers to report misconduct.
These deadlines can be as short as 30 to 180 days. Contacting an experienced long term care False Claims Act lawyer immediately can mean the timely analysis of those whistleblower laws that apply to your specific case, ensuring that all deadlines are met.
Finding An Experienced Whistleblower Lawyer
Selecting your long term care whistleblower lawyer could be the single most important decision you make.
The right lawyer can mean the difference between a successful whistleblower claim and the loss of your eligibility for a cash award. Even more importantly, the right lawyer will guide you through the process from the start, safeguarding your job, career, reputation and future.
Willingness To Proceed Without Government Intervention
Do not hire an employment or personal injury lawyer, members of the so-called “file and forget” club. They file your case and simply hope the government pursues the case.
A specialized long term care whistleblower lawyer with years of experience is willing to take your claim all the way, whether the government opts to intervene or not.
Powerful Company Experience and Investigative Experts
Your long term care whistleblower lawyer must be fully equipped to take on the most complex of long term care cases. This means being well-versed in whistleblower law, having experience with huge, powerful companies like Tenet, Boeing or Bank of America, and having access to the best investigative experts in the nation to help present your case.
Wide Jurisdictional Knowledge And Expertise
Long term care whistleblower cases in particular often span a number of jurisdictions. Our long term care whistleblower lawyers work with clients nationwide and have filed cases in 37 jurisdictions. This level of experience and scope of practice can be paramount in persuading the government to devote resources to your case.
Prepared To Pursue Your Claim Through Trial
Obtaining a False Claims Act whistleblower award requires filing a lawsuit in federal court.
While that task sounds daunting to many lawyers, our team of experienced whistleblower lawyers have years of experience investigating claims, preparing complaints and working with the Justice Department and investigative agencies.
Before filing, we often informally interview prosecutors we know and work with regularly to determine their level of enthusiasm, determine their resources and find the jurisdiction with the best case law. If necessary, we even prosecute the case through trial.
Dedicated Employment Law Professionals For Retaliation Claims
Familiarity with the multitude of anti-retaliation laws is vital in handling long term care whistleblower claims, especially when you are still employed by the facility in question. Our whistleblower clients have first-hand access to our dedicated employment lawyer who helps to answer questions, mitigate risks and guide our clients through every step of the process.
Our experienced long term care whistleblower lawyers take immediate action to preserve your rights and privacy and have both the legal experience and investigative resources to stop long term care fraud in its tracks. Our medical experts, investigative team and legal staff are fully versed in the nuances of whistleblower law.
We have prevailed against numerous billion dollar companies and will fight for your rights and the rights of your loved ones.
More Questions About Long Term Care Whistleblowers?
If you have further questions about becoming a long term care whistleblower, whistleblower rights, employer retaliation or other concerns, please call 833.201.1555 or Connect with us Online
We want to help and we work diligently to protect your privacy.
Report Long Term Care Fraud and Maximize Your Cash Award
833.201.1555 or Report Online