On January 29, 2018, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) increased the per-claim range of civil monetary penalties under the federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.) (“FCA”) in accordance with a statutory requirement issued under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Public Law 114–74. Simultaneously, the DOJ increased the per-claim civil monetary penalties for federal Anti-Kickback Statute (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b et seq.) (“AKS”) violations.
Section 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, entitled the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, revised federal requirements for civil monetary penalties by federal agencies. Section 701 of the Balanced Budget Act of 2015 required federal agencies to adjust civil monetary penalties each year on January 15 to account for inflation during the preceding year. The new formula for calculating inflation adjustments to civil monetary penalties drastically increased civil monetary penalties during the first adjustment period in 2016. Prior to this first adjustment in 2016, the civil monetary penalties for AKS and FCA violations remained unchanged since 1996, when they were revised pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. In 1996, the per-claim civil monetary penalty for FCA violations was increased to $5,500 to $11,000 per claim and for AKS violations to $11,000 per claim. 64 Fed. Reg. 47099, 47,104 (Aug. 30, 1999).
Civil monetary penalties assessed after January 29, 2018 for AKS violations occurring after November 2, 2015 are now are $22,363 per claim, up from $21,916 per claim. 83 Fed. Reg. 3944, 3945 (Jan. 29, 2018).
Civil monetary penalties assessed after January 29, 2018 for FCA violations occurring after November 2, 2015, now range between $11,181 to $22,363 per claim, up from $10,957 to $21,916 per claim. Id. In addition to the civil monetary penalties, defendants still are subject to damages calculated at treble the amount paid by a governmental program for FCA violations.