About 36 percent of the almost $16 billion recovered by the Justice Department in health care whistle-blower fraud cases has come since 2009, reports USA Today. A bipartisan coalition backed strengthening the False Claims Act in 2009, and the Obama administration pushed for more money and tougher fraud-fighting provisions in the 2010 health care law, said assistant U.S. Attorney General Tony West.
In the past 20 years, whistle-blower cases have increased so they average about three times as much money back to the government as non-whistle-blower cases. In 2011, the federal government broke all records, bringing in nearly $2.3 billion in whistle-blower settlements and judgments. Since 1987, whistle-blower qui tam cases have earned about $16 billion; non-whistle-blower cases have collected about $5 billion. Large health care fraud cases often involve pharmaceutical companies either falsely advertising a product or marketing it for a use that hasn’t been approved by the FDA. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said her budget included an additional $300 million to take on health care fraud.