State needs a false claims act, qui tam statute to reclaim funds

Many states also have adopted similar false claims acts or qui tam laws relating to specific false claims (e.g. health care fraud). There are 29 states that have a state-level false claims act, including Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

In 2011, a state senator proposed a bill to create a Mississippi False Claims Act. However, that bill died in committee. It was substantially similar to the federal False Claim Act. In 2012 and 2013, state representatives offered the bill again, but it died in committee each year.

From January 2009 through May 2013, the Department of Justice had recoveries of more than $14.2 billion under the federal False Claims Act. In 2012, the Department of Justice recovered $4,220,671,240 in health care fraud alone. In 2012, a qui tam lawsuit by Texas against Johnson & Johnson regarding the disclosure of side effects of a drug settled for $158 million. In a 2011 California case, a $241 million settlement of a qui tam suit was reached arising from Quest Diagnostics alleged overcharging of the state Medicaid program.

David Dunbar
Clarion Ledger Op-Ed
5/27/13