Small Healh Care Company Racks Up Millions as Whistleblower

Ven-A-Care Incorporated in Key West, provides home infusion therapy to HIV positive patients and elderly residents with kidney failure. In 1991, the company rejected a buyout offer from National Medical Care and according to Taxpayers Against Fraud, NMC then launched a campaign to force Ven-a Care out of business in Key West. In fighting back, Ven-A-Care staff discovered that NMC was paying kickbacks to doctors who prescribed medicines and services that wee not needed and then billing Medicare and Medicaid exorbintant sums in excess of what infusion therapy actually costs. The U.S. Justice Department eventually won a $486 million from NMC and Ven-A-Care received $40 million as its reward under the False Claims Act. This week, another part of the case settled when Abbott Labs and Braun Medical and Roxane Labs agreed to pay $421 million to settle False Claims Act allegations for which Ven-A-Care will receive an additional $88.40 million. This case is an example of a trend in which small healthcare companies are becoming whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, reporting fraud and Medicare Fraud for which they are entitled to whistleblower rewards of upto 25% of what the government recovers.