One of the few state-level developments of recent months came in California, where its year-round legislature passed some amendments to the California False Claims Act.
This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2492 into law, and the changes will take effect January 1, 2013.
If I sound less than excited, its because I am — California’s purported reason for passing these changes was to qualify for the additional FMAP money, by getting its state false claims act approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For my newer readers, a state with a false claims act similar to the federal FCA can qualify for an extra ten percent on its FMAP if it meets the following criteria:
- establishes liability to the State for false or fraudulent claims, as described in the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), with respect to Medicaid spending,
- contain provisions that are at least as effective in rewarding and facilitating qui tam actions for false or fraudulent claims as those described in the FCA,
- contain a requirement for filing an action under seal for 60 days with review by the State Attorney General, and
- contain a civil penalty that is not less than the amount of the civil penalty authorized under the FCA.
There is certainly internet chatter about the amended California False Claims Act, and some of it seems to suggest that the new amendments will allow California to qualify for the increased FMAP share, but I don’t think so. The new CFCA — like the old CFCA — lacks an “alternate remedies provision.”
Not sure how that got by the 120 full time legislators of the State of California — each of whom is paid a six-figure salary, but it sure did.
Better luck next time, California.