Understanding Healthcare Fraud Offenses
A healthcare fraud attorney is dedicated to the defense of those accused of making false statements or claims in order to receive insurance payments or benefits. Deceiving healthcare providers is a serious criminal charge that can result in a lengthy prison term and numerous consequences in one’s personal and professional life. For a medical professional accused of healthcare deceit, a conviction has the potential to destroy his or her livelihood. Being accused of defrauding the federal government or medical insurance companies is a serious charge with serious consequences. Protect yourself by hiring an experienced healthcare fraud lawyer.
Prevalence and Severity of Healthcare Fraud
The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) estimates that 3% of all healthcare spending is lost to misrepresentation. Other government sources estimate that loss to be as much as 10%, which equates to around $226 billion lost per year. Because of the overwhelming cost of healthcare and the impact a scam can have on the entire system, federal judges are not hesitant to hand down severe penalties for those convicted. Successful defense against these charges, including deceit of both Medicare and Medicaid, requires quality legal counsel from an experienced attorney.
Instances of Healthcare Fraud
Healthcare fraud can take many forms. While individual patients certainly can be charged, it is most commonly committed by a medical provider attempting to receive payments from insurance companies for services they may or may not have rendered. Examples of healthcare fraud include but are not limited to:
- Billing for services that were not performed
- Billing for unnecessary medical procedures and tests
- Overbilling for services provided
- Providing inexpensive medical equipment but billing for a more expensive model
- Falsifying diagnoses
- Waiving patient costs and overbilling the insurance company or federal government
If you are a medical caregiver accused or even formally charged, or if you are an individual patient charged for your alleged involvement in a fraud scheme, you need legal representation at once. Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers, dedicated to aggressive federal criminal defense.
As with many federal charges, the penalties for healthcare fraud depend on the facts of the case. In general, a single count of healthcare fraud can carry significant penalties including stiff fines and up to 5 years in prison. Multiple counts lead to additional time in prison. If the offense is against a governmental healthcare provider such as Medicare or Medicaid, the penalties could be increased.
A healthcare fraud conviction carries not only the legal penalties of prison and fines, but it can potentially carry devastating personal and professional consequences as well. A medical caregiver may lose his or her medical practice or license to practice medicine and could even face civil penalties. With potential penalties this severe, one’s livelihood and financial future are at stake. The healthcare fraud attorneys with our firm are committed to thoroughly investigating your case to uncover the strongest angle of defense, and will work diligently to achieve the best possible result.
Contact David Benowitz
If you are charged with healthcare fraud, contact our firm at (202) 600-9900. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss how we might be able to assist you in your defense. We have helped countless people facing serious federal criminal charges and stand ready to help you.