Whistleblower Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


Continuing its recent trend of inserting whistleblower protections in significant legislation that impacts public health and safety, Congress included whistleblower and retaliation protections in the recently-enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"), the comprehensive health care legislation signed by President Obama in March 2010. While the whistleblower provisions may encourage employees to report fraud or waste under the statute, they may also impose added burdens on employers, health insurers and other entities involved in the health care field as all parties affected by the PPACA seek to understand and implement the many requirements imposed by statute.

The PPACA clearly showed an intent by Congress to extend whistleblower protection to those who report abuses or fraudulent conduct in the delivery of health care through the use of public monies. Section 1558 of the PPACA amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ("FSLA") by adding Section 18C, which provides that an employer cannot discriminate "against any employee with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or other privileges of employment" because the employee, among other things...

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