False claims to fuel lawsuits?

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Providers could be in store for a new, bigger wave of False Claims Act lawsuits, warn authors of a new report.

The reasons? Recent successes producing large settlements in whistleblower lawsuits, as well as revisions to the Stark anti-kickback law, according to Bloomberg BNA's 2016 fraud outlook released in early January.

Numerous long-term care providers, or contractors employed by them, have settled False Claims lawsuits in recent months.

A federal push toward prosecuting individuals for fraud, rather than their entire companies, could cause sparks this year, report authors noted.

Also highlighted is a new rule that says providers would be required to return government overpayments within 60 days of first noticing the payer's mistake. That measure was expected to be released this month.