It’s Official: False Claims Penalties Will Nearly Double

In the aftermath of a proposal earlier this year to nearly double False Claims Act (FCA) penalties, federal authorities have confirmed the spike will happen by August 1, 2016.

The change will bump the minimum penalty for a False Claims Act from $5,500 to $10,781 and increase the maximum penalty from $11,000 to $21,563.

FCA penalties are rising as a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which detailed that agencies must adjust ivil monetary penalties for inflation over the past 30 years. Since 1986, the FCA has been amended three times, according to the Department of Justice.

The penalty hikes are likely to help deter home health care companies another health care providers from committing Medicare fraud.

Recently, federal authorities have upped their scrutiny of Medicare fraud and recently executed the largest health care Medicare fraud takedown ever. The bust represented more than $900 million in fraudulent billings, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The jump in penalties rates also follows the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that could potentially increase the number of False Claims Act cases. The court unanimously decided that implied false certification theory can be a bases for False Claims Act liability, potentially opening

Written by Amy Baxter

Photo Credit: “Scales of Justice” by North Charleston, CC BY-SA 2.0