In the last decade, healthcare providers have seen a steady rise in whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act (FCA). A recent settlement out of the Northern District of Florida underscores the high cost of resolving such claims, which typically involve allegations of fraudulent billing practices.
Articles Discussing Employee Whistleblowers.
The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have issued a series of interim rules amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 that boosts whistleblower protections for certain federal contractors and subcontractors, and establishes a four-year pilot program enhancing whistleblower protections applicable to all civilian federal agency contractors.
As noted in several recent posts to this blog, the number of whistleblowing claims in the healthcare industry is rapidly rising, and there are a growing number of private and federal initiatives supporting whistleblowing in this field. Nevertheless, a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit establishes that not all “whistleblowing” activity is statutorily protected. In Genova v. Banner Health, a physician claimed that a hospital terminated his staff privileges in retaliation for reporting overcrowded conditions in a hospital emergency room. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and held that the physician’s report did not qualify for protection under the whistleblower provision of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).