Washington D.C. partner Jesse Witten was quoted in a Washington Business Journal article titled, “Whistleblower makes no apologies in $12.9 million false claims case against Children’s.” The article discussed the $12.9 million settlement the Children’s National Medical Center agreed to pay based on allegations that it misstated overhead costs used to calculate reimbursement rates in cost reports submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services. The former employee who made the allegation against the children’s hospital, received a $1.9 million cut.
The article reported that a number of legal experts are concerned that employees will now be more likely to turn in health providers, rather than try to fix the problem internally, especially as health systems struggle with increasingly complex regulations.
Jesse said, “It’s a good statute, but there can be too much of a good thing. There are a lot of garbage cases that come forward.” He also commented that health care providers have little choice but to settle when they’re accused of regulatory wrongdoing because of the draconian penalties imposed by the False Claims Act.