Tenth Circuit: U.S. ex rel. Sikkenga v. Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Utah

The False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., imposes civil liability on any person who “knowingly makes . . . a false record . . . to get a false . . . claim paid or approved by the Government.” Id. § 3729(a)(2). The Medicare Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395u(e), provides Medicare contractor employees immunity for false payments certified or made “in the absence of gross negligence or intent to defraud the United States.” 42 U.S.C. § 1395u(e)(1) and (2). Likewise, the Medicare Act extends the same level of immunity to the Medicare contractor. Id. § 1395u(e)(3). Indeed, as the legislative history explains, Congress intended to limit Medicare contractors to “the same immunity from liability . . . as would be provided their certifying and disbursing officers.” H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 89-682 (1965), reprinted in 1965 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1943, 2231 (emphasis added).

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