In Minnesota, major healthcare fraud is civilly and criminally prosecuted by the District of Minnesota United States Attorney’s Office and the State’s own Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The federal government often accomplishes this task with the assistance of the Minnesota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The MFCU takes the responsibility of stopping fraud very seriously and is often assisted in its efforts by the bravery and actions of whistleblowers.
Modeled after the federal False Claims Act, the Minnesota False Claims Act permits private citizens to bring qui tam actions on behalf of the State of Minnesota to recover treble damages and civil penalties. Minn. Stat. § 15C.01, et seq.
Nolan Auerbach & White represents whistleblowers in federal court only. We will bring cases on behalf of whistleblowers under the Minnesota qui tam statute as part of an action under the federal False Claims Act. We do so under the Court’s pendent jurisdiction.
The liability provisions of the Minnesota False Claims Act, Minn. Stat. § 15C.02, provides liability for any person who:
(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly makes or uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the state or a political subdivision;
(3) knowingly conspires to either present a false or fraudulent claim to the state or a political subdivision for payment or approval or makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record or statement to obtain payment or approval of a false or fraudulent claim;…
Cases completed in Minnesota that were originally brought in a Minnesota federal court include:
DOJ announced that Allina Health System had agreed to pay $16 million to settle allegations that the company fraudulently overbilled three government health care programs. The Government alleged that the company double billed and upcoded for services provided between 1994 and 2001. This settlement also resolved three qui tam actions.
Medtronic Inc., a Minnesota based medical technology company, agreed to pay the United States $23.5 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act and caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid by using two post-market studies and two device registries as vehicles to pay illegal kickbacks to doctors who implanted the company’s pacemakers and defibrillators in patients.