HHS Whistleblower Attorney
Our Attorneys Represent HHS Employees, Private-Sector Employees, and Others Who Need to Blow the Whistle
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for helping to protect patients’ safety and ensure the integrity of the healthcare industry in the United States. But, even with substantial resources at its disposal, HHS cannot do these jobs on its own. As a result, it relies on whistleblowers to come forward when they have information about fraud, waste, and other forms of misconduct.
Whistleblowers play an important role in HHS’s enforcement efforts. This includes not only HHS’s external enforcement efforts targeting federal contractors and grant recipients, but its internal enforcement efforts as well. The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator at HHS’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigates whistleblower complaints against both external and internal stakeholders, and it works to protect whistleblowers’ identities to the fullest extent possible.
If you are thinking about blowing the whistle, an HHS whistleblower lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. can help.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in the public and private sectors, including specific experience in the area of healthcare fraud enforcement. Before entering private practice, several of our attorneys prosecuted healthcare fraud at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alongside the HHS OIG. We believe strongly in the value of the federal whistleblower system, and we are committed to protecting those who choose to come forward. If you are thinking about coming forward, it is important to know that you are doing the right thing—not only to help HHS, but also to help the patients you serve.
Working with an HHS Whistleblower Attorney at Oberheiden P.C.
If you are like most potential HHS whistleblowers, you have lots of questions. This is a good thing—because it means that you are ensuring you make informed decisions. When we represent whistleblowers, we often speak with our clients several times before they make a decision about whether to make a protected disclosure.
We represent all of our whistleblower clients at no out-of-pocket cost. Once you get in touch, we will arrange for you to speak with an HHS whistleblower lawyer in confidence at a time that is convenient for you. We will then typically make arrangements to review the information you have in your possession (if you are comfortable with this), and then we will schedule a follow-up consultation to discuss next steps. If you decide not to move forward for any reason, we will maintain your identity and information in strict confidence, and you will owe us nothing. If you decide to make a protected disclosure to HHS, we will still charge you nothing out of pocket—our legal fees, if any, will be calculated as a percentage of any whistleblower compensation you receive from the government.
We understand that blowing the whistle can be stressful—and, because of this, we work to make the process as easy as possible. Under no circumstances will we pressure you to come forward. We will give you the information and advice you need to make informed decisions, and you will always retain final authority to decide whether you want to become an HHS whistleblower.
If you decide to blow the whistle, you will work closely with a whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. throughout the process. Your attorney will assist with preparing your protected disclosure, and your attorney will communicate with the HHS OIG on your behalf. Your attorney will remain available to answer your questions every step of the way, and your attorney will promptly update you on any developments.
Submitting a Protected Disclosure as an HHS Whistleblower
If you are thinking about blowing the whistle with HHS, one of the first things you should do is make sure you are eligible. If you are not eligible to submit a protected disclosure to HHS, you may need to file a whistleblower complaint with a different federal agency. Eligible individuals include:
- Employees of Medicare and Medicaid contractors
- Employees of HHS contractors and subcontractors
- Employees of HHS grant recipients
- HHS employees
- U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers
Those who are not eligible (and who may need to file a whistleblower claim with a different federal agency) include:
- Employees of healthcare providers not working with HHS
- Employees of non-HHS federal agencies
- Employees of state and local government entities
Like other federal agencies, HHS has established certain requirements for submitting a protected disclosure as a whistleblower. For example, all protected disclosures must be based on “a reasonable belief that the alleged wrongdoing has occurred,” and they must be made to the appropriate individual or federal entity. While the types of information that federal employees and private-sector employees can disclose as HHS whistleblowers vary slightly, generally, HHS accepts whistleblower complaints that allege:
- Abuse of authority
- Censorship of scientific research or analysis
- Conduct that presents a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant
- Gross waste of federal funds
- Statutory and regulatory violations related to federal contracts and grants
All eligible individuals who have qualifying information can submit their protected disclosures to the HHS OIG. There are other options as well, and our attorneys can help you decide whether it makes sense to contact the HHS OIG or another federal entity. Regardless of where it makes sense to make your protected disclosure, we can rely on our experience to guide you forward.
Your Next Steps as a Potential HHS Whistleblower
Before you contact the HHS OIG or submit a complaint through the OIG hotline, we would encourage you to speak with an HHS whistleblower attorney. It costs nothing, and it will help you feel confident in your next steps. As discussed above, there are certain requirements for securing protection as a whistleblower; and, while meeting these requirements isn’t necessarily difficult, it is important not to make any mistakes at this juncture.
When you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with an HHS whistleblower lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. in confidence as soon as possible. Our role at this stage is to advise you, and you are under absolutely no obligation to move forward. We are purely here to help guide you forward—no matter what path you ultimately choose.
FAQs: Filing a Whistleblower Complaint with HHS
What protections will I receive as an HHS whistleblower?
Public and private-sector employees who file whistleblower complaints with HHS are protected against retaliation in their employment. As the HHS OIG explains, “The Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits retaliation. This means it is unlawful for agencies to take or threaten to take a personnel action against an employee because he or she disclosed wrongdoing. Personnel actions can include poor performance review, demotion, suspension, termination, or revocation or downgrade of a security clearance.” While this speaks specifically to federal agencies, the same prohibitions apply to private-sector employers.
HHS whistleblowers are also entitled to confidentiality. As a result, as an HHS whistleblower, there is a good chance that your employer won’t find out that you made a protected disclosure. At Oberheiden P.C., we work with the HHS OIG to protect our clients’ confidentiality by all means available.
Should I report fraud to the HHS OIG Hotline?
One option for individuals who have information about fraud, waste, and abuse is to contact the HHS OIG Hotline. But, the HHS OIG Hotline does not accept all types of complaints, and individuals who submit hotline complaints won’t necessarily qualify for whistleblower protection. As a result, if you are thinking about contacting the hotline, we recommend that you speak with an HHS whistleblower attorney before doing so.
How long do I have to report fraud, waste, or abuse to HHS?
If you are thinking about reporting fraud, waste, or abuse to HHS, there isn’t necessarily a set deadline that you need to meet. Instead, HHS simply encourages potential whistleblowers to come forward as soon as possible. Coming forward promptly can help ensure that HHS is able to take appropriate legal action—while also helping to mitigate the costs to patients and taxpayers.
Will an HHS whistleblower attorney keep my information confidential?
An HHS whistleblower attorney should keep your identity and the information that you have in your possession strictly confidential. You are the potential whistleblower—and, as a result, it is up to you to decide when (and if) to come forward. Your attorney’s job is to help you make informed decisions and provide legal representation should you decide to blow the whistle.
How much does an HHS whistleblower attorney cost?
Hiring an HHS whistleblower attorney should cost you nothing out of pocket. At Oberheiden P.C., we provide no out-of-pocket cost legal representation for whistleblowers. Our legal fees, if any, will be calculated as a percentage of your whistleblower compensation if your protected disclosure results in a successful enforcement action by HHS or another federal agency.
Speak with an HHS Whistleblower Attorney at Oberheiden P.C. in Confidence
If you would like to speak with an HHS whistleblower attorney in confidence, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Please call 888-680-1745 or contact us confidentially online to schedule an appointment today.