The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it obtained over $3 billion in settlements and judgements under the False Claims Act (FCA), in fiscal year 2019. Of that recovery, $2.6 billion was attributed to fraud in the healthcare industry. In fact, this is the tenth consecutive year that the government’s recovery from fraud in that industry has surpassed $2 billion.
This year’s recovery brings the total figure to $62 billion since the FCA was amended in 1986 to incentivize whistleblowers. In its current version, whistleblowers who uncover fraud can file a civil action on behalf of the government and receive a share of the recovery. That share typically ranges from 15 to 30 percent of the total recovery.
As staggering as these numbers are, they only account for federal recoveries. Many states have their own False Claims Acts that mirror the federal law, allowing whistleblowers to help recover state assets lost to fraud. By way of example, the North Carolina Department of Justice has recovered $500 million in Medicaid fraud alone under its own FCA.