The United States Department of Justice has issued a press release announcing that it recovered more than $3.7 Billion from False Claims Act (FCA) cases during fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017). This recovery marks a decline from the $4.7 Billion that the DOJ recovered in fiscal year 2016, but it is the sixth consecutive year in which the Government’s FCA recoveries have exceeded $3.5 Billion.
Once again, the healthcare industry was responsible for the majority of the Government’s FCA recoveries, with $2.4 Billion coming from the healthcare industry (including hospitals, physicians, laboratories, drug companies, and pharmacies). The DOJ has now recovered more than $2 Billion from the healthcare industry in each of the past 8 years.
The mortgage and housing industry was another substantial target with more than $543 Million of the DOJ’s recoveries coming from the mortgage and housing industry.
Whistleblowers were involved in a significant number of the cases that led to these Government recoveries. FCA whistleblowers filed 669 claims in fiscal 2017, which is a slight decrease from the 702 qui tam lawsuits that were filed in fiscal year 2016. However, the Government recovered $3.4 Billion from cases that were initiated as qui tam lawsuits, which is an increase over the $2.9 Billion that the Government recovered from such cases in fiscal year 2016.
The significant recoveries that are being obtained by the DOJ annually, particularly in the healthcare industry, provide a reminder of the importance of emphasizing compliance and accuracy in the submission of claims to the Government.