Health Care Reform Law Creates Whistleblower Protections With Bite

In the Press · April 1, 2010

The new health care reform law creates strong new whistleblower protections for health care workers and expands coverage under the False Claims Act. The new law protects those who challenge patient care breakdowns, fraud, misrepresentations to the government, waste, or abuse in traditional medical care settings.

Retaliation against whistleblowers will now have a broad range of remedies including reinstatement, back pay, special damages, and attorney’s fees. In addition, long-term care facilities that received more than $10,000 in federal funding in the previous year must notify their employees and managers that they are required to report any reasonable suspicion of crime, and that failure to do so can result in fines of up to $200,000.

Finally, the new bill expands the definition of an "original source" under the False Claims Act to include individuals who materially add to publicly disclosed allegations of wrongdoing. Previously, only those who had primary information about the fraud and who disclosed prior to public disclosure were entitled to be a "relator" under The False Claims Act.

For more information about the new health care reform law, please contact Daniel S. Tarlow at 617 456 8013 or dtarlow@princelobel.com.