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U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the primary Senate sponsor of 1986 amendments to the federal False Claims Act that bolstered and updated the statute’s whistleblower provisions. Now, the longtime False Claims Act proponent is working to ensure that recent changes to the federal law are made part of fourteen state False Claims Acts patterned after the federal model. Several states have enacted legislation similar to the federal statute in response to a federal incentive that allows states with whistleblower statutes to increase their share of Medicaid recoveries by ten percent.
Many states have enacted False Claims Act laws. But the incentive is available only to the fourteen states with legislation that satisfies several outlined criteria. With the recent amendments to the federal Act, those fourteen states will have to take another look at their statutes to ensure that they are still compatible. At the federal level, Senator Grassley has tapped the Attorney General and the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services to examine the state False Claims Acts in light of the new federal provisions. Grassley also wants the federal government to provide guidance to the states as they revise their statutes in order to remain eligible for the Medicaid ten percent incentive.
The federal False Claims Act was strengthened in May 2009, when President Obama signed the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, which eliminated many liability loopholes and resolved much statutory confusion. Additional changes to the statute were made again in March of 2010 with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
For the full story, go to Senator Grassley’s press release.