Significant developments in qui tam law marked the year 2022, with recoveries from fraud against the government reaching a remarkable $2.2 billion. This surge in claims uncovered noteworthy trends that may guide the future of civil fraud claims.
As these trends evolve, understanding their implications is vital.
COVID-related fraud settlements
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosive increase in fraud tied to government relief programs, with healthcare providers and businesses capitalizing on new policies and programs. For instance, false claims for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement became rampant with the rise of telemedicine during the pandemic.
Emerging areas of fraud in 2022 and beyond
Beyond COVID-related fraud, 2022 saw the emergence of several new fraud areas.
- Cybersecurity fraud. The Department of Justice launched the Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative and took aggressive action against contractors who did not accurately represent their compliance with cybersecurity requirements.
- Electronic Health Records fraud. The increasing shift of the healthcare industry toward electronic records led to instances of EHR vendors misrepresenting their products’ certifications or capabilities.
Infrastructure fraud is also increasing, with potential risk surrounding 10% of the $1.2 trillion earmarked for future infrastructure projects.
Major qui tam settlements of 2022
The year 2022 saw several significant settlements that revealed both financial recoveries and system abuses. One of the largest cases involved Biogen, a biotechnology company ordered to pay over $800 million for alleged payments to doctors for prescribing its MS drugs. Another case involved two Texas business owners who had to pay $240 million for creating a shell corporation to secure government contracts designated for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
These trends in qui tam law reveal that 2022 was a year of challenges and opportunities in the fight against fraud. Moving forward, staying informed and vigilant about these developments will be necessary to ensure the effective and ethical use of government funds.