Guidelines - Compliance Program
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and University of Nebraska and UNMC Policies and Procedures. Also see Compliance Hotline
False Claims Act
The False Claims Act is a federal law that provides that whoever knowingly submits to the federal government a false claim for payment, or creates a false record in support of a claim for payment, or knowingly retains the proceeds of a false claim for payment submitted to the government shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim, and three times the actual damages sustained by the government.
The Federal False Claims Act contains qui tam, or whistleblower provisions that allow citizens with evidence of fraud against government contracts and programs to sue, on behalf of the government, in order to recover the funds. In compensation for the risk and effort of filing a qui tam case, the citizen whistleblower or “relator” may be awarded a portion of the funds recovered, typically between 15 and 25 percent.
While the False Claims Act covers fraud involving any federally funded contract or program, in the health care area it has been applied to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and also to federal research grants. Examples of health care-related False Claims Act violations are: 1) a health care provider bills Medicare for services that were not performed or that were unnecessary; and 2) a federal grant recipient charges the Government for costs not related to the grant.
In addition to the Federal False Claims Act, Nebraska has a False Medicaid Claims Act (insert link to Neb. Rev. Statute 68-1073 here) that provides that any person who presents a false Medicaid claim is subject to civil penalties of not more than ten thousand dollars and damages in the amount of three times the amount of the false claim submitted to the state. The Nebraska False Medicaid Claims Act does not contain qui tam relator provisions.
Any individual who suspects that potential False Claims Act violations may have occurred at UNMC should contact the Compliance Officer or contact the compliance hotline at 1-866-568-5430. See UNMC Policy No. 8001, “Compliance Hotline”. Individuals are encouraged to report concerns. Retribution against individuals raising concerns is prohibited.