Healthcare Fraud Law - 18 U.S. Code § 1347
Healthcare fraud entails knowingly and willfully executing or attempting to execute a scheme or means of defrauding any healthcare benefit program or, by fraud, false pretenses, representations, or promises to obtain any money or property owned by or controlled by any healthcare benefit program.
Federal crimes such as Medicare fraud carry severe penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, if you are convicted of the white-collar me of Medicare fraud, you could face thousands of dollars in fines and years in federal prison.
The defendant may also be ordered to pay restitution and probation for many years. The federal prosecutors aggressively pursue a conviction in a Medicare fraud case.A related crime is California state healthcare fraud charges under Penal Code 550 PC.
Contacting a practiced criminal defense attorney is essential if facing a healthcare fraud investigation. You can face severe fines and up to 10 years imprisonment or both if convicted.
Some types of healthcare fraud include:
- Billing personal expenses
- Billing for services/products not delivered
- Billing for more expensive services/products than were delivered
- Arranging for and paying or receiving kickbacks
- Overpricing of services/products
- Unnecessary treatment
- Billing items separately that should be billed together
- Falsifying claims to receive payment
Healthcare fraud has recently been covered widely by the media and is on the mind of many Americans. Many healthcare providers have to justify items and services billed to insurance companies and healthcare benefit programs like Medicare.
Additionally, more and more providers are finding they have to defend against accusations of health care fraud. Investigators and prosecutors from the federal government will thoroughly research allegations of health care fraud.
If you are undergoing an investigation, you need the help of a savvy and resourceful criminal defense lawyer from Cron, Israels & Stark.
Different Types of Medicare Fraud
Indictments for Medicare fraud can include over-billing or billing for medical services or medical devices not provided or not needed in the first place. Usually, medical clinics and doctors are the most commonly charged in Medicare fraud and healthcare fraud cases.
Medicare fraud occurs when healthcare providers submit false or padded bills to Medicare for payment and cost the federal government millions of dollars every year.
There can be many reasons for errors in Medicare billings, which result from intentional deception of the Medicare system. These can include clerical errors, inadequate billing supervision, and improper supervision of the treatment area. There have also been cases where the errors in the government documentation or processing itself.
The government has ramped up a task force to get people involved in Medicare fraud. This can take many different scams — doctors or patients can be applied.
In basic terms, it deals with getting money from the government for health insurance in the form of Medicare and then misusing the money.
There are many scams, and the government is paying out millions of dollars related to Medicare fraud claims. If they have proof you are using the money unlawfully, they will file criminal charges.
They will first start with their investigative body, which is more of a bureaucracy. If they reasonably believe some criminal activity is occurring, the case will be moved to the unlawful task force.
Once it's moved there, you can expect to be approached and interviewed. They are attempting to question you why they believe you are involved in Medicare fraud. If you say something to incriminate yourself, you can expect that information to be used against you in the case's prosecution.
Challenge the Federal Healthcare Fraud Allegations
An investigation of healthcare fraud can be one of the most upsetting things to a healthcare provider. Any federal investigation is a serious matter.
Facing accusations of fraud can be devastating to your personal and professional life. Even if these charges are false, they can harm your name and reputation.
Federal prosecutors must prove that the case involved a deliberate intention to deceive the government. Experience and knowledge of the various factors involved in a Medicare fraud case are critical in a strong defense.
Our attorney will assist in evaluating the allegations as to whether there is any basis for the investigation or not. We will guide you through all aspects of the inquiry while preserving your rights.