Chapter 48.80 RCW

HEALTH CARE FALSE CLAIM ACT

Sections

48.80.010Legislative findingShort title.
48.80.020Definitions.
48.80.030Making false claims, concealing informationPenaltyExclusions.
48.80.040Use of circumstantial evidence.
48.80.050Civil action not limited.
48.80.060Conviction of provider, notification to regulatory agency.


48.80.010
Legislative finding—Short title.

The legislature finds and declares that the welfare of the citizens of this state is threatened by the spiraling increases in the cost of health care. It is further recognized that fraudulent health care claims contribute to these increases in health care costs. In recognition of these findings, it is declared that special attention must be directed at eliminating the unjustifiable costs of fraudulent health care claims by establishing specific penalties and deterrents. This chapter may be known and cited as "the health care false claim act."



48.80.020
Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Claim" means any attempt to cause a health care payer to make a health care payment.
(2) "Deceptive" means presenting a claim to a health care payer that contains a statement of fact or fails to reveal a material fact, leading the health care payer to believe that the represented or suggested state of affairs is other than it actually is. For the purposes of this chapter, the determination of what constitutes a material fact is a question of law to be resolved by the court.
(3) "False" means wholly or partially untrue or deceptive.
(4) "Health care payment" means a payment for health care services or the right under a contract, certificate, or policy of insurance to have a payment made by a health care payer for a specified health care service.
(5) "Health care payer" means any insurance company authorized to provide health insurance in this state, any health care service contractor authorized under chapter 48.44 RCW, any health maintenance organization authorized under chapter 48.46 RCW, any legal entity which is self-insured and providing health care benefits to its employees, and any insurer or other person responsible for paying for health care services.
(6) "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity.
(7) "Provider" means any person lawfully licensed or authorized to render any health service.

NOTES:

Effective date1995 c 285: See RCW 48.30A.900.



48.80.030
Making false claims, concealing information—Penalty—Exclusions.

(1) A person shall not make or present or cause to be made or presented to a health care payer a claim for a health care payment knowing the claim to be false.
(2) No person shall knowingly present to a health care payer a claim for a health care payment that falsely represents that the goods or services were medically necessary in accordance with professionally accepted standards. Each claim that violates this subsection shall constitute a separate offense.
(3) No person shall knowingly make a false statement or false representation of a material fact to a health care payer for use in determining rights to a health care payment. Each claim that violates this subsection shall constitute a separate violation.
(4) No person shall conceal the occurrence of any event affecting his or her initial or continued right under a contract, certificate, or policy of insurance to have a payment made by a health care payer for a specified health care service. A person shall not conceal or fail to disclose any information with intent to obtain a health care payment to which the person or any other person is not entitled, or to obtain a health care payment in an amount greater than that which the person or any other person is entitled.
(5) No provider shall willfully collect or attempt to collect an amount from an insured knowing that to be in violation of an agreement or contract with a health care payor to which the provider is a party.
(6) A person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(7) This section does not apply to statements made on an application for coverage under a contract or certificate of health care coverage issued by an insurer, health care service contractor, health maintenance organization, or other legal entity which is self-insured and providing health care benefits to its employees.



48.80.040
Use of circumstantial evidence.

In a prosecution under this chapter, circumstantial evidence may be presented to demonstrate that a false statement or claim was knowingly made. Such evidence may include but shall not be limited to the following circumstances:
(1) Where a claim for a health care payment is submitted with the person's actual, facsimile, stamped, typewritten, or similar signature on the form required for the making of a claim for health care payment; and
(2) Where a claim for a health care payment is submitted by means of computer billing tapes or other electronic means if the person has advised the health care payer in writing that claims for health care payment will be submitted by use of computer billing tapes or other electronic means.



48.80.050
Civil action not limited.

This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit or limit a prosecution of or civil action against a person for the violation of any other law of this state.



48.80.060
Conviction of provider, notification to regulatory agency.

Upon the conviction under this chapter of any provider, the prosecutor shall provide written notification to the appropriate regulatory or disciplinary agency of such conviction.