New State Qui Tam Whistleblower Law Is Approved by House Judiciary Committee in Georgia

This afternoon I had the privilege of joining the Inspector General of Georgia’s Department of Community Health, Doug Colburn, in serving as the two invited witnesses who were asked to explain how the new “State False Medicaid Claims Act” would work, in testimony before the full Judiciary Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives.

The new whistleblower law was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee, and is gaining steam toward passage.

Chairman Wendell Willard expressed his strong support for encouraging whistleblowers to report wrongdoing. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Edward Lindsey, thanked the cooperative efforts by the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Office of Attorney General, and the private bar to fashion what is a “very good bill.”

A representative of the Medical Association of Georgia also testified that it supports the bill as passed by the Committee, after one change was made to make the statute of limitations consistent with the federal False Claims Act.

We have written before about this proposed new whistleblower law, one of many that various states are now considering to qualify for the financial incentives created by Congress in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. States that have or enact False Claims Acts with qui tam whistleblower provisions that are at least as effective as the federal False Claims Act are entitled to receive a 10% increase in their share of Medicaid fraud recoveries.

Our firm, Finch McCranie, LLP, is proud to contribute its experience to assist the legislature in enacting a very good “State False Medicaid Claims Act.”

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