According to an
article in the
Los Angles Times, by Mark Lifsher, Quest Laboratories agreed to pay the State of California
$241million to resolve a lawsuit that was pending against them. The lawsuit
Quest Diagnostics paid illegal kickbacks to doctors, hospitals and clinics for
steering patients their way.
Quest denied any wrong doing.
California has a law, similar to the federal law, called the California
False Claims Act, which provides a cause of action that that can be filed
when citizens believe a company is defrauding the state. Here, the lawsuit
alleged that Medi-Cal, California’s program for the poor and disabled,
was overcharged by Quest Laboratories. This is reported to be the largest
such settlement in California’s history.
This is a great example of ordinary citizens working with the government
to identify alleged fraud and to seek and obtain settlements that reimburse
states for funds. There is a similar statute called the False Claims Act
that is applicable for fraud in the federal setting. In health care it
can involve claims of false billing for medicaid or medicare patients.
It can involve drug companies and hospitals or medical device companies
who overcharge the federal government.
About the author:
Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials. She has been recognized as one of
the Best Lawyers in DC for Medlcal Malpractice. Ms. Bertram has over 20
years of trial
experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management
for Georgetown University Hospital. Ms. Bertram is a member of the bar
for the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Bertram is a partner with the firm and
she lives in Washington, DC with her family She has also recently published
a chapter on informed consent in a surgical textbook. She can be reached
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office
in Washington, D.C.