Medicine has become big business. While the vast majority of healthcare professionals are genuinely dedicated to improving patient lives, a few bad apples spoil the profession. Most often those “bad apples” are hospital administrators and executives of big pharma. Even physicians become overcome by greed, however.
As I write this post, former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is on trial for public corruption. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wants to put Silver behind bars for illegal influence peddling, among other things.
What does this have to do with Medicare fraud? Plenty!
One of the key witnesses against Silver is Dr. Robert Taub, a New York physician. Taub struck a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution. While some may hold their nose at such deals, they have become a necessity in the war against corruption and greed. Often the first to cooperate get the best deals from prosecutors.
Last week prosecutors told jurors that Taub steered asbestos cases to Silver in return for “favors.” Silver in turn took those case to a law firm that paid him referral fees.
What did Dr. Taub get for steering cases to Sheldon Silver? How about two, $250,000 research grants. These were grants that Taub apparently never even applied for.
One of the documents unveiled by prosecutors last week is an email written by Dr. Taub. In it he says, “No enterprise…ever, ever grew or succeeded as a result of pure righteousness. Usually success is propelled by greed, envy or both.”
As noted above, Dr. Taub has not charged with any wrongdoing. The email speaks volumes about character and why Medicare fraud flourishes in our economy.
Our precious healthcare dollars should be spent where they are most needed. Not bartered as political favors and exchanged for lucrative referral fees.
Medicare Fraud and Whistleblower Awards
The FBI calls Medicare fraud a national epidemic. It has become so prevalent that it in certain cities it is even starting to discredit the entire profession.
What is the solution? Finding a solution to greed is not an easy task but the best way to stop Medicare fraud is to encourage more whistleblowers to come forward. Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers that report Medicare fraud are entitled to up to 30% of whatever the government collects from wrongdoers. Million dollar plus awards are not uncommon.
To qualify for an award you must have inside information about fraud involving government healthcare programs (Medicaid, Medicare or TriCare). Since most healthcare services receive some government insurance, that threshold is usually not difficult. Next, you must be first to file a sealed lawsuit in federal court. (Many states have similar Medicaid fraud laws.)
Thinking about becoming a whistleblower or wondering if you have a claim? Give us a call. We have helped recover over $100 million for our whistleblower clients. It is easy to make a real difference, call us to learn more. For more information contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct).
MahanyLaw – America’s Medicare Fraud Lawyers