Legislatures have recognized that, for various reasons the executive branch cannot or does not effectively enforce all of our laws on its own. In one important area, Medicaid provider fraud, the Washington legislature has enacted a statute called the Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act to encourage reporting of provider fraud and false claims to the Attorney General. If the Attorney General declines to take action, the complainant may file her own lawsuit on behalf of the government. As an incentive to do so, the statute allows the complainant to keep up to 30% of any damage award or settlement. Much more broadly applicable, the federal False Claims Act provides a similar qui tam provision and incentive structure for remedying fraud committed by those doing business with the federal government.
State and local government employees are often well positioned to identify Medicaid program fraud or other improper government action. Government employees who report improper government action are protected from retaliation.
Smith & Dietrich Law Offices PLLC is committed to representing whistleblowers and others who know about government waste, fraud, and abuse or improper government action. If you need help in these areas, contact us.