Tennessee False Claims Act

The state of Tennessee has both a state False Claims Act, TCA § 4-18-101 et seq., and a Medicaid False Claims Act, T.C.A. § 71-5-181 et seq. Information on each is below:

Tennessee False Claims Act

A person may bring a civil action for a violation of the Tennessee False Claims Act for the person and for the state and/or political subdivision. The person bringing the action shall be referred to as the qui tam plaintiff.

In the case of a successful action, the whistleblower is entitled to 25% - 50% of the proceeds, depending upon government intervention and the extent to which the qui tam plaintiff contributed to the prosecution of the action. In addition, the whistleblower shall receive an amount for reasonable expenses, plus reasonable costs and attorney’s fees.

The Tennessee FCA also protects whistleblowers against retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

The Tennessee FCA, TCA § 4-18-101 et seq., states that any person who commits any of the following acts shall be liable to the state or to the political subdivision for a civil penalty of $2,500-$10,000 for each false claim, plus up to three (3) times the amount of damages that the state or the political subdivision sustains because of the act of that person.

  • (1) Knowingly presents or causes to be presented to an officer or employee of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, a false claim for payment or approval;
  • (2) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record or statement to get a false claim paid or approved by the state or by any political subdivision;
  • (3) Conspires to defraud the state or any political subdivision by getting a false claim allowed or paid by the state or by any political subdivision;
  • (4) Has possession, custody, or control of public property or money used or to be used by the state or by any political subdivision and knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
  • (5) Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used or to be used by the state or by any political subdivision and knowingly makes or delivers a receipt that falsely represents the property used or to be used;
  • (6) Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from any person who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property;
  • (7) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or to any political subdivision;
  • (8) Is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the state or a political subdivision, subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim, and fails to disclose the false claim to the state or the political subdivision within a reasonable time after discovery of the false claim; or
  • (9) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used any false or fraudulent conduct, representation, or practice in order to procure anything of value directly or indirectly from the state or any political subdivision.
Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act

An individual may bring a civil action for a violation of the Tennessee Medicare False Claims Act (TMFCA) for the person and for the state.

Individuals who report fraud may receive a percentage of the total amount recovered if the government prosecutes the case under the TMFCA. In a successful qui tam action under the TMFCA, the whistleblower shall receive between 15% - 30% of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim.

Where the action is one that the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, relating to allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing, report, audit, investigation, or from the news media, the whistleblower may receive up to 10% of the proceeds.

In addition, the whistleblower shall receive an amount for reasonable expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs of the case.

The Tennessee Medicaid FCA also protects whistleblowers against retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

Violations of the Tennessee Medicaid FCA, T.C.A. § 71-5-181 et seq., include:

  1. Presenting, or causing to be presented, to the state a claim for payment under the Medicaid program knowing such claim is false or fraudulent;
  2. Making, using, or causing to be made or used, a record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim under the Medicaid program paid for or approved by the state knowing such record or statement is false;
  3. Conspiring to defraud the state by getting a claim allowed or paid under the Medicaid program knowing such claim is false or fraudulent; or
  4. Making, using, or causing to be made or used, a record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state, relative to the Medicaid program, knowing such record or statement is false.

Violators shall be liable to the state for a civil penalty of $5,000 - $25,000, plus up to three (3) times the amount of damages which the state sustains because of the act of that person.

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