In 2009, the State of Connecticut adopted the Connecticut False Claims Act (“Connecticut FCA”), its own version of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Connecticut FCA allows private individuals who know about fraud to bring a qui tam case against a person or entity for submitting or causing the submission of false claims to the State. Unlike the federal FCA, the Connecticut FCA only applies to fraud against medical assistance programs administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services, including Medicaid.
Like the federal FCA, the Connecticut FCA allows for financial rewards to whistleblowers for bringing an action on behalf of the State. If the State decides to intervene in a case, the whistleblower may receive 15-25% of the recovery. If the State does not intervene and the whistleblower pursues the case on their own, they may receive 25-30% of the recovery.
Connecticut FCA and Federal FCA Similarities
Key provisions of the Connecticut FCA mirror the federal FCA, such as:
- Once an action is brought under the Connecticut FCA, it remains under seal for at least 60 days (the State can petition the Court to have the action remain under seal for longer than 60 days).
- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against whistleblower employees. Retaliation includes firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing the employee. If the employer does retaliate, the employee is entitled to the reinstatement of their position, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any damages sustained because of the discrimination, including litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees.
Connecticut FCA and Federal FCA Differences
While the Connecticut FCA and the federal FCA have numerous similarities, they also have some differences:
- Liability attaches under the Connecticut FCA for: submitting a false claim under a medical assistance program administered by the Department of Social Services for payment to the State, or making or using a false record or statement material to a false claim under a medical assistance program administered by the Department of Social Services. Unlike the Connecticut FCA, the federal FCA applies to any false claim submitted to the federal government.
- Unlike the federal FCA, the Connecticut FCA does not explicitly exempt false tax claims.
Previous Connecticut False Claims Act Settlements
The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office has prosecuted numerous qui tam cases, recovering funds for both the state government and Connecticut taxpayers:
- Family Care VNA: In January 2017, Family Care Visiting Nurse and Home Care Agency, LLC agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle allegations that the agency violated the federal FCA and Connecticut FCA by fraudulently billing Medicaid for certain home health services.
- J&L MEDICAL: In January 2016, medical equipment company J&L MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC agreed to pay $600,000 to settle allegations that the company violated the federal FCA and Connecticut FCA by using unlicensed technicians to provide respiratory therapy services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
For more information on the Connecticut False Claims Act or to speak with an attorney, please contact Shauna Itri at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-875-3049. To read more about what whistleblower clients can expect from our lawyers, click here.
One last thing…
For more than a decade, the Berger Montague Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Practice Group has represented whistleblowers in matters involving healthcare fraud, defense contracting fraud, IRS fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud. While the information on this blog is not legal advice, we would be more than happy to speak with you directly about your potential case. Any information you share with us will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality, and we will protect you every step of the way.