by | last updated on January 21, 2016
Government agencies are under enormous pressure to identify and prosecute those who are abusing the healthcare system. This has led to a surge in fraudulent billing and other healthcare fraud charges against doctors, clinics, hospitals, home health care companies, and others in the industry.

Types of Healthcare Fraud Charges

Fraudulent billing and other practices considered fraudulent come in various forms, such as:

  • phantom billing (billing for services not rendered);
  • upcoding (billing for a more expensive procedure);
  • unbundling (separately billing for services that should have been combined);
  • double billing;
  • falsifying cost reports;
  • providing unnecessary services;
  • prescription fraud (giving generics but billing for brand-name);
  • kickbacks (accepting something in return for services or referrals);
  • self-referrals; and
  • embezzlement.

Healthcare Fraud Charges Entail Stiff Penalties

Physicians, counselors, clinic directors, and other workers in the healthcare industry are often making headlines for charges and convictions of fraud. The resounding repercussions of conviction are exorbitant fines, loss of business, and prison time.

Some of the most recent cases of healthcare fraud include:

  • a 75-year-old doctor was charged with 20 counts of fraud (and eight co-conspirators were charged as well);
  • a doctor was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for participating in a $13.8 million fraud scheme; and
  • a physician pleaded guilty to fraud involving falsified patient records and received payments for various procedures, and is attempting to plead his way down to a 30 to 37 month prison term.

These are only a few of the many cases in the news right now. The crackdown is continuing to gain momentum.

Fort Lauderdale Doctors Can Fight Fraud Charges

Granted, there are some doctors and other healthcare workers who abuse the system. But at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove, we’ve witnessed many innocent doctors wrongly accused of healthcare fraud. Even in cases where there may have been some misconduct, the U.S. Attorney’s Office can be so dead set on prosecuting, that the charges are embellished and overly harsh penalties are doled out.

Doctors can fight the charges. An attorney can help collect evidence and, depending on the circumstances, build a case using defenses such as:

  • errors in billing;
  • lack of intent;
  • clerical work errors;
  • ill-intentioned employees;
  • poor billing supervision; and
  • government documentation of processing errors.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you’re a doctor who is under investigation for healthcare fraud, contact a criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove for a free consultation. Let us work with you to fight the accusations, and work to have your fraudulent billing or other healthcare fraud case dismissed, or to minimize the punishments. Call (954) 861-0384 today.