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Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) and Whistle Blower Protections

Lost amid all the hoopla as to whether or not the Affordable Care Act will.become law (clue to Tea Party members: it has!), is the issue of what if any ;whistle blower protections are contained in this new law, designed to bring health insurance to all.  California employees with whistle blower claims in the health care industry may be pleased to know that the ACA has brought with it its own protections for whistle blowers.

Thus, if an employee discloses a violation of Title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Action Section 1558 of Public Law 111-148. 29 USC 218C, he or she may be protected under various provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008,. 11 USC Section 2087

In addition, the Patient Protection Act also improved the Federal False Claims Act and extended its whistle blower protections to claims of fraud under the relevant provisions of the new care act. See Public Law No 111-48, Sections 1558-1754, 6703(b)(3) and 6205.

No one has yet forecast what types of fraud will be reported under the Affordable Care Act; however, it can be envisioned that the same types of claims heretofore brought to the attention of the US Department of JusticeUS Department of Justice¬†will continue to be presented. Thus, IDC billing code fraud such as upcoding and/or unbundling, falsified enrollments, eligibility requirements, etc., will continue. Due to the close interplay of state and federal financing, whistle blowers will also be reporting and challenging perceived violations of state health whistle blower laws. California’s Labor Code 1102.5 will continue to provide protection for employees who report (even mistakenly, as long as they believe in good faith), violations of this law. California whistle blowers remain protected for reporting any violation of state or federal law. In most cases, whistle blowers who have suffered adverse job actions, such as termination or demotion, may chose to file both an individual cause of action as part of their federal false claim, or a separate lawsuit for the common law and statutory violations.

As California’s leading employment law firm with expertise in federal whistle blowing cases, we will continue to monitor and report on significant cases filed under this new area of law.