In 2008, a qui tam whistleblower action was brought by former employees of Medtronic Spine LLC, f.k.a. Kyphon Inc., alleged that the company charged Medicaid for costly overnight stays following a procedure, kyphoplasty (back surgery that can usually be performed on an outpatient basis). The charges for the overnight hospital visits were alleged to have been unnecessary, wasteful spending of taxpayer money.
On January 4, 2011, this qui tam lawsuit recovered another $6.3 million for the U.S. This adds to the total of $101 million that has already been garnered from 25 hospitals and from Kyphon Inc.
This lawsuit alleged that by keeping patients overnight, the hospitals and Kyphon were acting in a self-serving manner to the detriment of the US taxpayers. In other words, the overnight hospital visits did nothing to promote patient care or recovery but instead only benefited the hospitals (by its charges to Medicare for the overnight hospital stays) and Kyphon.
Of the hospitals involved in this whistleblower action, some were located in Alabama and the total number of hospitals involved to this point is 25.
Former employees of Kyphon initialed the lawsuit with the help of a whistleblower attorney. As plaintiffs in a qui tam whistleblower action, these former employees may retain as an award 15 to 25 percent of the funds that their lawsuit recovers for the government. Thus far, over $100,000,000 has been recovered in this lawsuit.
If you suspect that your company is involved in a scheme to file false claims with a governmental agency, contact the Alabama whistleblower attorneys at McAleer Law.