by | last updated on January 19, 2016
Healthcare fraud charges can not only lead to consequences for the offender, but for the general public as well. If facing accusations or if charged for fraud healthcare practices, a Ft. Lauderdale criminal attorney can offer legal help.

What is considered healthcare fraud?

Healthcare fraud involves devising a plan or scheme to file false medical claims in order to make a profit. In the healthcare realm, this can encompass many different types of situations. It may involve defrauding the Medicare or Medicaid system, or other healthcare or insurance programs.

For example, in some cases, healthcare providers may bill for services that were never rendered or add services to a bill that were never actually rendered. Upcoding, meanwhile, involves charging for a service of higher value when a service of a lower value was actually rendered.

Duplicate claims may also lead to charges for fraud healthcare practices – this involves filing a claim for service rendered more than once when the services were only rendered once.

Many other forms of fraud may also lead to healthcare fraud charges. Those who are accused of such crimes may consult a Ft. Lauderdale criminal attorney to discuss the details of their case and for help defending against these charges.

Consequences of Healthcare Fraud Charges

The most common punishments for healthcare fraud include fines and imprisonment. Both depend on the severity of the fraud charges. Fraud is considered a federal crime, with imprisonment lasting up to 10 years. However, if serious injury resulted from the fraud, then the sentence could increase to 20 years. Fines can be significant. They may vary from $10,000-$50,000 per charge of fraud healthcare practices.

A medical provider accused of fraud may be forced to give up his or her medical license and never earn the privilege of getting it back. Those accused of fraud may also be forced to pay restitution to Medicare or Medicaid, meaning they would have to pay back money they took illegally. With such serious consequences, those accused can consult a Ft. Lauderdale criminal attorney for help defending themselves against these charges.

According to Cornell University Law School, the public also suffers consequences of a scammer’s fraud schemes.  It is estimated that 10 cents of each dollar spent on healthcare goes toward fraud. In addition, some forms of fraud can put a patient’s health at risk.

Contacting a Ft. Lauderdale Criminal Attorney if Facing Healthcare Fraud Charges

Fraud is a felony punishable by hefty fines and jail time. A charge of fraud healthcare practices can stay on a person’s criminal record for a long time: even the rest of his or her life. Those accused of fraud can defend themselves, which often starts by learning about their legal rights. Robert Malove is a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney who can assist clients with developing a defense against healthcare fraud charges. Contact us at (954) 861-0384.