The federal government continues to pursue its mission of putting an end to health care fraud — also known as Medicare or Medicaid fraud — through aggressive tactics. Federal investigators team up with state and local governments to identify and immediately terminate instances of what they suspect to be fraud. Investigators are often ruthless in their pursuit of fraud, and can utilize a variety of resources to aid their investigation and prosecution. Their determination to stop the abuse of the health care system often leads to their identification of simple coding errors and misunderstandings as matters that are much more severe than they are in reality.
If you are under investigation in connection with suspected health care fraud in West Palm Beach, you are advised to discuss your case with a federal defense attorney right away. These cases often move quickly, so the sooner an attorney becomes familiar with your case, the better the chances are that you will obtain a successful outcome. An attorney with experience handling complex fraud cases can analyze all the evidence against you or your healthcare company and prepare you for ongoing investigations and audits.
Common Types of Health Care Fraud
Attorneys with experience handling criminal health care fraud cases can protect health care providers and suppliers who are under investigation for a number of health care fraud schemes, including:
- Doctors and clinics who bill for services never rendered
- Billing for non-covered service as if they were covered services
- Billing for medical equipment that was never provided
- Billing for ghost payments
- Over-utilizing certain medical procedures or services
- Utilizing excluded providers
- Filing duplicate billing for a single service
- Paying kickbacks to patient brokers
- Prescribing unnecessary medication
- Intentionally billing the wrong insurance card
- Filing claim forms containing fraudulent information
- Intentionally reporting false diagnoses or unnecessary procedures to increase payment
- Making false statements on applications or contracts to participate in Medicare or Medicaid
- Violating the Medicare assignment provisions or the physician agreement
- Reselling medicine received through Medicaid
- Allowing others to use your Medicaid or Medicare card
These are just a few of the more common types of illegal conduct for which a healthcare provider can face federal criminal charges. Such conduct often involves physicians, health clinic staff, patient brokers, patients, and several other parties. Do not assume that because many people may be charged that the worst possible result will not happen to you. A federal criminal defense attorney is crucial at this uncertain time.
Who is a Target of Medicare Fraud Investigations in West Palm Beach?
Typically, several parties are involved in Medicare and Medicaid fraud investigations. Those who are entwined in the healthcare industry stand to face significant penalties if they are convicted of any charges, including the termination of their licenses. Federal fraud investigators target:
- Doctors and health care providers
- Clinics, treatment centers, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals
- Home health care providers
- Therapy clinics
- Durable medical equipment providers
- Medical billing and coding companies
Medicare fraud is considered a white collar crime and can often accompany other criminal acts such a conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks, and money laundering. Any of these charges can put you away for a long time in a federal prison if you are convicted and you could lose your license to work in healthcare and be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid, among other losses of privilege.
Contact a seasoned healthcare fraud defense lawyer to fully understand what you are up against if you are under investigation. An attorney like Brian Gabriel, who has practiced criminal law for 25 years can inform you of your rights and options for defense. Call 561-622-5575 or email us for a free consultation.