Healthcare fraud cases are at an all-time high; in 2011, there were 1,235 new health care fraud prosecutions, nearly a 70 percent increase from the previous year, according to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. There are numerous healthcare fraud charges that can be brought about in a case, the repercussions of which are possibly quite severe.
Potential Charges in Healthcare Fraud Cases
Any party involved in healthcare can find themselves facing fraud charges, including:
- health clinic directors;
- patient recruiters;
- business managers; or
- billing department representatives.
Healthcare fraud cases can include a number of different types of charges, including:
- health insurance fraud;
- billing for services not rendered;
- tax fraud;
- inappropriate referrals (Stark Law violations);
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud;
- providing excess or unnecessary services;
- writing false prescriptions;
- paying kickbacks for referrals; and
- unbundling of services to increase claim amount.
The FBI and Fraud Crackdown
According to the FBI, healthcare fraud costs our country $80 billion a year, and the agency is cracking down on it. The FBI has put a good number of their agents to work on investigating these types of cases.
The agency reports that up to 10 percent of total health care expenditures may be attributed to fraudulent billings, and they’re serious about catching wrongdoers.
Some of the most recent healthcare fraud cases include:
- a home healthcare administrator who faces five years prison time for each count of the kickbacks she plead guilty to in a $74 million health care fraud scheme;
- a health care clinic director who was sentenced to 111 months for kickback charges and fraudulent Medicare claims; and
- 89 doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who were charged in a nationwide takedown for Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $223 million in false billings.
Serious Repercussions of Healthcare Fraud Conviction
Being convicted of healthcare fraud can have very serious consequences. Even relatively small charges can have profound penalties.
Some of the repercussions of healthcare fraud include:
- professional sanctions;
- revocation of licensure;
- high fines;
- losing a practice; and
- prison time (sometimes without the possibility of parole).
Simply getting charged with a crime can tarnish a person’s professional career and be very damaging for their reputation and business future.
Regardless of what the exact nature of the events in question, anyone charged with healthcare fraud needs to seek counsel immediately. A healthcare fraud attorney will work to build a strong defense and fight to get the charges reduced or dismissed. Many healthcare practitioners find themselves in early retirement after a fraud charge, as the toll it takes on a practice, public opinion, and court costs can cause great ruin.
Counsel from a Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Healthcare fraud is a serious crime with severe penalties. There is too much on the line to risk procrastinating in securing legal help. Our team at the Offices of Robert David Malove in Fort Lauderdale is ready to help. Contact us today for a free consultation at (954) 861-0384 and let us help protect your rights and build a strong defense against healthcare fraud charges.