Healthcare whistleblowers helped get back $9.3B

Whistleblowers have helped authorities recover at least $9.3 billion from healthcare providers according to a new analysis of U.S. Department of Justice records. Since the DoJ began working harder to involve insiders in its efforts to fight healthcare fraud, the number of whistleblowers coming forward has increased. Today, whistleblowers initiate more than 90 percent of the DoJ's lawsuits focused on healthcare fraud.

While they may be moved by unhappiness with what they've seen, the fact that they get between 15 and 25 percent of the amount recovered can't hurt either. Of the $9.3 billion recovered between 1996 and 2005, whistleblowers received more than $1 billion, according to analysts writing for the Annals of Internal Medicine.

As large as these numbers are, they're conservative, as information was available only for about three-quarters of the 379 cases reviewed. Also, some of the most spectacular recoveries took place after the review period. For example, the $920 million settlement with Tenet Healthcare took place in 2006. Also, in recent times, there have been large recoveries from pharmas, pushing average settlements from $10 million per case in 2002 to $50 million in 2005 alone.

To learn more about this research:
- read this Associated Press article

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