On February 22, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual False Claims Act (FCA) statistics for Fiscal Year 2023.  The DOJ’s press release announced the “highest number of settlements and judgments in history,” at 543 total settlements and judgments.

Overall, the DOJ boasted $2.69 billion in FCA judgments and settlements, up nearly 20% from the year before.  Out of that total, $2.33 billion (just below 87%) were the result of qui tam whistleblower lawsuits.  Within the qui tam category, 81.1% of the recoveries were in cases where the government intervened.  (This was a reversal of the year before, where the majority of the qui tam recovery was from non-intervened cases, for the first time in the history of the FCA).  FCA whistleblowers recovered a total of just under $350 million, which was actually down from nearly $500 million in 2022. (The FCA permits a whistleblower to receive between 15 and 30% of the government’s total recovery).

In addition to the total monetary recoveries, 712 new qui tam matters were filed in 2023, which was the highest number of new qui tam matters since 2014, and the third highest number on record.  There were also 500 new non­-qui tam matters initiated in 2023, the highest number ever.

Healthcare-Specific Statistics

Out of the $2.69 billion in total recoveries, over two-thirds ($1.82 billion) were from individuals and entities in the healthcare industry.  87% of that was the result of qui tam actions, and healthcare whistleblowers received a total of just over $200 million in Relator’s share.

Interestingly, out of the 712 new qui tams filed in 2023, less than half (348) were against individuals and businesses within the healthcare industry.  Despite the fact that there was a nearly-record number of new qui tams filed in 2023, this represents the lowest number of new healthcare-specific qui tams since 2009.

Defense-Related FCA Matters

The DOJ announced a record $552 million in recoveries in cases dealing with the Department of Defense. This is the second highest amount in history for DOD-related FCA cases.  The majority of that total came from Booz Allen Hamilton’s $377 million settlement from July 2023, which was one of the largest single procurement fraud settlement in DOJ history.

DOJ Focus Areas 

As part of its press release, the DOJ highlighted some of its enforcement priorities, both historically and moving forward.  Within the healthcare industry, the DOJ highlighted its work investigating Medicare Advantage fraud, as well as cases involving unnecessary services and substandard care, opioid overprescribing, and kickbacks.

The DOJ also highlighted its focus on COVID-19 pandemic fraud, particularly cases involving false or fraudulent PPP loans.

In announcing the total recoveries, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Boynton, who heads the DOJ’s Civil Division stated: “As the record-breaking number of recoveries reflects, those who seek to defraud the government will pay a high price . . . The American taxpayers deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars will be used to support the important government programs and operations for which they were intended.”

If you need assistance in connection with a False Claims Act investigation or litigation, our attorneys are among the most experienced FCA litigators in the country.  Please contact us today.