Laura Davis, a registered nurse who worked at the Dialysis Corporation of America observed that the company was over billing Medicare for injections of Epogen, a drug used to increase the red blood cell counts of kidney dialysis patients who are anemic. This week, the company agreed to pay the government $7.3 million to settle the whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). At first, Nurse Davis raised her concerns about DCA’s billing practices for Epogen internally but no one listened to her. The False Claims Act allows private citizens to sue companies that are defrauding the government as a way to recover funds on the government’s behalf. The law rewards whistleblowers with 15-25% of the recovery. The amount of Medicare fraud committed against the U.S. government is thought to be in the billions each year. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.
The Health Care Reform Law called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, soon to take effect, if not overturned by Congress, contains special protections for nurses, nursing home employees and other health care workers who reasonably believes that there has been a violation of the law. The employee whistleblower cannot suffer retaliation for reporting violations and there are severe sanctions if they are. To read the sections of the law that apply to nurses and other healthcare whistleblowers read them here.hr-3590-whistleblower-provisions