A qui tam action filed against New York City has settled for $70 million. A qui tam action is a whistleblower lawsuit brought by an individual as a “relator” on behalf of the federal government.
The whistleblower lawsuit alleged that the New York City Human Resources Administration improperly overcharged the Federal Medicaid program for the provision of 24-hour Personal Care Services (PCS). PCS is a program designed to provide housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing, toileting and grooming services to Medicaid beneficiaries who qualify for the program based upon the recommendations and assessment of health care professionals.
The qui tam action was brought on behalf of Dr. Gabriel Feldman, a New York City doctor, who was contracted by the city to make recommendations about patient treatments. Concerned with what appeared to be the alleged wasteful spending of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, Dr. Feldman filed his whistleblower complaint, under seal, on October 2, 2009. The complaint was unsealed on January 5, 2011. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York moved to intervene in the qui tam lawsuit.
The complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney on January 11, 2011, alleged that between 2000 and 2010, New York City routinely renewed 24-hour home care services for applicants without the required medical re-assessment and, in some cases; city administrators overruled the doctor’s assessment that 24-hour care services were inappropriate.
Between 2000 and 2010, approximately 17,500 of New York’s Medicaid beneficiaries received services from the PCS program at a cost to taxpayers of between $75,000 to $150,000 per person annually or from $1 billion to more than $2 billion dollars, collectively. The complaint alleged that a substantial percentage of this amount was for improperly authorized services, resulting in damages to taxpayers of at least tens of millions of dollars.
In November, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced that the lawsuit settled for $70 million, including a $14.7 million reward for the whistleblower.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.