2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
September 5, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Subeck, Zamarripa, C. Taylor,
Sinicki, Sargent, Hebl and Ohnstad, cosponsored by Senator Risser.
Referred to Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight.
1An Act to renumber and amend
801.02 (1), 803.09 (1), 2
803.09 (2), 804.01 (2) (intro.) and 805.04 (1); and to create
20.9315, 49.485 (1), 3
165.25 (11m), 805.04 (2p) and 893.9815 of the statutes; relating to: restoring
4private individual authority to bring a qui tam claim against a person for
5making a false claim for medical assistance, actions by the attorney general
6against a person for making a false claim for medical assistance, and providing
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill restores a private individual's authority to bring a qui tam claim
against a person who makes a false claim for medical assistance, which was
eliminated in 2015 Wisconsin Act 55
. A qui tam claim, as it relates to the Medical
Assistance program under the bill, is a claim initiated by a private individual on his
or her own behalf and on behalf of the state against a person who makes a false claim
for medical assistance. The bill provides, as did the law before 2015 Wisconsin Act
took effect, that, of moneys recovered as a result of a qui tam claim, a private
individual may be awarded up to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending
upon the extent of the individual's contribution to the prosecution of the action. The
individual may also be entitled to reasonable expenses incurred in bringing the
action, as well as attorney fees. This bill also includes additional changes not
included in the prior law to conform state law to the federal False Claims Act,
including expanding provisions to facilitate qui tam actions and modifying the bases
for liability to parallel the liability provisions under the federal False Claims Act.
In addition to qui tam claims, the Department of Justice has independent authority
to bring a claim against a person for making a false claim for medical assistance. This
bill modifies provisions relating to DOJ's authority to parallel the liability and
penalty standards relating to qui tam claims, specifically, applying the definition of
the term “claim” and the forfeiture amounts provided under the federal False Claims
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.9315 of the statutes is created to read:
220.9315 False claims for medical assistance; actions by or on behalf of
In this section:
(b) “Claim” has the meaning given in 31 USC 3729
(d) “Knowingly" means, with respect to information, having actual knowledge 6
of the information, acting in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the 7
information, or acting in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information. 8
“Knowingly" does not mean specifically intending to defraud.
(de) “Material” means having a natural tendency to influence, or be capable of 10
influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property.
(dm) “Medical assistance" has the meaning given under s. 49.43 (8).
(dr) “Obligation” has the meaning given in 31 USC 3729
(dt) “Original source” has the meaning given in 31 USC 3730
(e) (4) (B).
(e) “Proceeds" includes damages, civil penalties, surcharges, payments for costs 15
of compliance, and any other economic benefit realized by this state as a result of an 16
action or settlement of a claim.
Except as provided in sub. (3), any person who does any of the following is 2
liable to this state for 3 times the amount of the damages that were sustained by the 3
state or would have been sustained by the state,whichever is greater, because of the 4
actions of the person, and shall forfeit, for each violation, an amount within the range 5
specified under 31 USC 3729
(a) Knowingly presents or causes to be presented a false or fraudulent claim 7
for medical assistance.
(b) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or 9
statement material to a false or fraudulent claim for medical assistance.
(dg) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or 11
statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the 12
Medical Assistance program, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly 13
avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Medical 14
(dr) Conspires to commit a violation under par. (a), (b), or (dg).
The court may assess against a person who violates sub. (2) not less than 17
2 nor more than 3 times the amount of the damages sustained by the state because 18
of the acts of the person, and shall not assess any forfeiture, if the court finds all of 19
(a) The person who commits the acts furnished the attorney general with all 21
information known to the person about the acts within 30 days after the date on 22
which the person obtained the information.
(b) The person fully cooperated with any investigation of the acts by this state.
(c) At the time that the person furnished the attorney general with information 25
concerning the acts, no criminal prosecution or civil or administrative enforcement
action had been commenced with respect to any such act, and the person did not have 2
actual knowledge of the existence of any investigation into any such act.
(a) Except as provided in subs. (10) and (12), any person may bring a civil 4
action as a qui tam plaintiff against a person who commits an act in violation of sub. 5
(2) for the person and the state in the name of the state.
(b) The plaintiff shall serve upon the attorney general a copy of the complaint 7
and documents disclosing substantially all material evidence and information that 8
the person possesses. The plaintiff shall file a copy of the complaint with the court 9
for inspection in camera. Except as provided in par. (c), the complaint shall remain 10
under seal for a period of 60 days from the date of filing, and shall not be served upon 11
the defendant until the court so orders. Within 60 days from the date of service upon 12
the attorney general of the complaint, evidence, and information under this 13
paragraph, the attorney general may intervene in the action.
(bm) Any complaint filed by the state in intervention, whether filed separately 15
or as an amendment to the qui tam plaintiff's complaint, shall relate back to the filing 16
date of the qui tam plaintiff's complaint, to the extent that the state's claim arises 17
out of the conduct, transactions, or occurrences set forth, or attempted to be set forth, 18
in the qui tam plaintiff's complaint.
(c) The attorney general may, for good cause shown, move the court for one or 20
more extensions of the period during which a complaint in an action under this 21
subsection remains under seal.
(d) Before the expiration of the period during which the complaint remains 23
under seal, the attorney general shall do one of the following:
1. Proceed with the action or an alternate remedy under sub. (10), in which case 25
the action or proceeding under sub. (10) shall be prosecuted by the state.
2. Notify the court that he or she declines to proceed with the action, in which 2
case the person bringing the action may proceed with the action.
(e) If a person brings a valid action under this subsection, no person other than 4
the state may intervene or bring a related action while the original action is pending 5
based upon the same facts underlying the pending action.
(f) In any action or other proceeding under sub. (10) brought under this 7
subsection, the plaintiff is required to prove all essential elements of the cause of 8
action or complaint, including damages, by a preponderance of the evidence.
If the state proceeds with an action under sub. (5) or an alternate remedy 10
under sub. (10), the state has primary responsibility for prosecuting the action or 11
proceeding under sub. (10). The state is not bound by any act of the person bringing 12
the action, but that person has the right to continue as a party to the action.
(b) With the approval of the governor, the attorney general may compromise 14
and settle an action under sub. (5) or an administrative proceeding under sub. (10) 15
to which the state is a party, notwithstanding objection of the person bringing the 16
action, if the court determines, after affording to the person bringing the action the 17
right to a hearing at which the person is afforded the opportunity to present evidence 18
in opposition to the proposed settlement, that the proposed settlement is fair, 19
adequate, and reasonable considering the relevant circumstances pertaining to the 20
(c) Upon a showing by the state that unrestricted participation in the 22
prosecution of an action under sub. (5) or an alternate proceeding to which the state 23
is a party by the person bringing the action would interfere with or unduly delay the 24
prosecution of the action or proceeding, or would result in consideration of
repetitious or irrelevant evidence or evidence presented for purposes of harassment, 2
the court may limit the person's participation in the prosecution, such as:
1. Limiting the number of witnesses that the person may call.
2. Limiting the length of the testimony of the witnesses.
3. Limiting the cross-examination of witnesses by the person.
4. Otherwise limiting the participation by the person in the prosecution of the 7
action or proceeding.
(d) Upon showing by a defendant that unrestricted participation in the 9
prosecution of an action under sub. (5) or alternate proceeding under sub. (10) to 10
which the state is a party by the person bringing the action would result in 11
harassment or would cause the defendant undue burden or unnecessary expense, the 12
court may limit the person's participation in the prosecution.
Except as provided in sub. (7), if the state elects not to participate in an 14
action filed under sub. (5), the person bringing the action may prosecute the action. 15
If the attorney general so requests, the attorney general shall, at the state's expense, 16
be served with copies of all pleadings and deposition transcripts in the action. If the 17
person bringing the action initiates prosecution of the action, the court, without 18
limiting the status and rights of that person, may permit the state to intervene at a 19
later date upon showing by the state of good cause for the proposed intervention.
Whether or not the state participates in an action under sub. (5), upon 21
showing in camera by the attorney general that discovery by the person bringing the 22
action would interfere with the state's ongoing investigation or prosecution of a 23
criminal or civil matter arising out of the same facts as the facts upon which the 24
action is based, the court may stay such discovery in whole or in part for a period of 25
not more than 60 days. The court may extend the period of any such stay upon
further showing in camera by the attorney general that the state has pursued the 2
criminal or civil investigation of the matter with reasonable diligence and the 3
proposed discovery in the action brought under sub. (5) will interfere with the 4
ongoing criminal or civil investigation or prosecution.
The attorney general may pursue a claim relating to an alleged violation 6
of sub. (2) through an alternate remedy available to the state or any state agency, 7
including an administrative proceeding to assess a civil forfeiture. If the attorney 8
general elects any such alternate remedy, the attorney general shall serve timely 9
notice of his or her election upon the person bringing the action under sub. (5), and 10
that person has the same rights in the alternate venue as the person would have had 11
if the action had continued under sub. (5). Any finding of fact or conclusion of law 12
made by a court or by a state agency in the alternate venue that has become final is 13
conclusive upon all parties named in an action under sub. (5). For purposes of this 14
subsection, a finding or conclusion is final if it has been finally determined on appeal, 15
if all time for filing an appeal or petition for review with respect to the finding or 16
conclusion has expired, or if the finding or conclusion is not subject to judicial review.
(a) Except as provided in pars. (b) and (e), if the state proceeds with an 18
action brought by a person under sub. (5) or the state pursues an alternate remedy 19
relating to the same acts under sub. (10), the person who brings the action shall 20
receive at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds of the action 21
or settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which the person 22
contributed to the prosecution of the action or claim.