JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Health care fraud is an $80 billion a year industry that the FBI says gets bigger as time goes on. That's why the U.S. Department of Justice says it's cracking down.
"All these cases are important," said Charles Miller, spokeman for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division. "When there is fraud against the government, it drives up the cost of health care."
Like the case against American Sleep Medicine, a diagnostic sleep testing facility based in Jacksonville. The company has 19 locations in 14 states, including California where a former employee says it improperly billed the government for reimbursements between 2004 and 2011. The employee filed a suit in conjunction with the U.S. government in 2007.
"During this period diagnostic testing services were performed by technicians that actually lacked the required credentials or certifications."
To be reimbursed, certification is required by health agencies like Medicare, TRICARE and the Railroad Retirement Medicare Program.
In a settlement , the company did not admit any fault, but did pay $15.3 million, of which $2.6 million went to the whistleblower.
"Under the False Claims Act, a person can file a suit on behalf of the United States and if there is a successful recovery they can share in the recovery."
It's a case, the Department of Justice called serious and important for all.
"These costs affect and impact all American citizens' health care."
Since 2009, the Department of Justice has recovered nearly $14 billion under the False Claims Act.