Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul praised a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court saying it affirmed a robust and fair reading of the False Claims Act (FCA). Earlier this year, Raoul joined a bipartisan coalition of 33 states in filing a brief in two Supreme Court cases that both consider when a contractor can be held liable under the FCA for overbilling Medicaid.
The FCA is an important law enforcement tool that states and the federal government use when a contractor knowingly provides false billing information for some publicly-funded programs, including Medicaid. The Illinois False Claims Act closely follows the Federal FCA, and this ruling will allow Illinois to successfully continue to bring FCA cases against wrongdoers, which is necessary for ensuring compliance with the Illinois Medicaid Program.
“I appreciate the Supreme Court’s decision to preserve the False Claims Act, which is an important tool for my office to hold those who defraud Illinois’ Medicaid program accountable,” Raoul said. “This decision will preserve the integrity of a critical health care program, which serves some of our state’s most vulnerable residents.”
In the consolidated cases of United States ex rel. Tracy Schutte, et al v. SuperValu, Inc. and United States ex rel. Thomas Proctor v. Safeway, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled a retail pharmacy chain could be held liable under the FCA for knowingly submitting false claims for payment to the government. According to the coalition, the chain charged governments what it purported were usual and customary drug prices, but actually sold to customers at deeply discounted rates.