Proposed False Claims Act Introduced in Pennsylvania House of Representatives

We had previously reported that plans were in the works to renew efforts for Pennsylvania to adopt a False Claims Act.  House Bill 1493 has now been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  This proposed legislation, if enacted, would give the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting suits against those who are suspected of committing fraud against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  However, private individuals can also initiate lawsuits.  Under the bill, individuals or entities which are found to have engaged in fraudulent activity could be responsible for three times the damages sustained by the government.  Protections would also be provided to whistleblowers who bring a false claims act suit against an employer.  State Representative Brandon Neuman of Washington County who is one of the sponsors of the bill has stated that three advantages of passing this legislation would be 1) deterring fraud and punishing wrongdoers; 2) raising significant revenues through recovered losses or other damages and 3) making Pennsylvania eligible for a federal program which would increase by 10% the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s share of the recovery from a successful Medicaid fraud lawsuit.

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