On June 17, 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law S.B. 746, which makes several amendments to the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act (TMFPA). Perhaps most significantly, the bill adds a statute of limitations to the TMFPA that matches the one in the federal False Claims Act: a claim must be brought six years after the unlawful act or within three years from the date the state knows or reasonably should have known facts material to the unlawful act, whichever is longer, but no more than ten years after the unlawful act. Previously, the TMFPA had no statute of limitations, though at least one court had applied Texas’s four-year residual statute of limitations to an action brought by a private qui tam plaintiff. Other significant changes include: (1) broadening the definition of a reverse false claim; (2) permitting the state to oppose a dismissal under the public disclosure bar; (3) broadening the definition of what constitutes a public disclosure; (4) broadening the definition of “original source”; and (5) adding a three-year statute of limitations for retaliation claims.
The amendments become effective September 1, 2013. We anticipate that the U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) will determine that the amended TMFPA satisfies the requirements for receiving federal incentives under the federal Deficit Reduction Act. As discussed , the OIG gave Texas until August 31, 2013 to amend the TMFPA to conform to recent amendments to the federal FCA.
A copy of S.B. 746 can be viewed here.