The Law Offices of Chaikin and Sherman, P.C.
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Washington, DC Qui Tam Attorneys
The Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), is designed to protect patients by ensuring that all physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers make important decisions based on their patients’ needs without being influenced by corporations who profit from those decisions. To this end, the Anti-Kickback Statute explicitly prohibits anyone from offering or accepting financial compensation or any other incentive or reward that is intended to encourage a healthcare provider to recommend, use, or purchase any item or service that could be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government-funded health program. Prohibited incentives include not just direct kickbacks and bribery, but also in-kind kickbacks like:
- Free vacations
- Paid contracts
- Other indirect forms of remuneration
Kickbacks in the Healthcare Sector
The corporations that manufacture prescription drugs, medical devices, and healthcare equipment make higher profits the more their product is used in medical treatment. Physicians are the most frequent target of illegal kickback schemes because of their authority to prescribe or recommend drugs and medical devices to patients. For instance, a pharmaceutical company that offers a doctor a free trip to Hawaii in exchange for prescribing one drug over another would be in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
The Anti-Kickback Statute does allow “safe harbor” in the case of legitimate transactions between manufacturers and physicians or other purchasers such as hospitals. This may include leasing equipment, renting space, and other financial arrangements, as long as all of the terms of the arrangement are clearly documented and compensation is not above fair market value. If these conditions are not met—documentation and fair market value—or the terms of the agreement are breached to allow extra compensation, the arrangement may be an illegal kickback.
Healthcare kickbacks not only take needed healthcare funding from those who need it, they encourage physicians and healthcare providers to sacrifice patient safety in pursuit of profits. If a kickback scheme results in illness or injury from unnecessary, substandard, or unsafe medical treatment, you may also be entitled to damages for medical malpractice.
Becoming a Whistleblower under the Anti-Kickback Statute
If you have knowledge about kickbacks or compensation that may be illegal under the Anti-Kickback Statute, you may have grounds to become a whistleblower and initiate a qui tam lawsuit under both the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act. According to these laws, any claim for reimbursement by Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, or any other government-funded healthcare system that is influenced by kickbacks can be subject to a qui tam action.
If are interested in becoming a whistleblower, the qui tam attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. will help you put together your case and file your qui tam whistleblower lawsuit. We will ensure that you receive the full extent of whistleblower protections under the False Claims Act, including temporary anonymity and freedom from retaliation. We will also fight for the maximum whistleblower compensation to which you are entitled.
If you are aware of illegal kickbacks, fraud or false claims against the US government, please contact our qui tam lawyers today. Our attorneys will offer legal consultation without obligation. All communication between you and Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys during the consultation process are completely confidential and are protected by attorney-client privilege.