Medicare/Medicaid fraud is an incredibly lucrative scandal that costs taxpayers millions of dollars. The government closely monitors any irregularities in medical dealings and will investigate everyone from business owner to staff if they detect a scandal. This means you could come under investigation even if you were in no way involved in fraudulent behavior.
If you are an employee and the business owner is accused of medicare or medicaid fraud, make sure you are not implicated in any wrong doing and that you have legal protection options for if you should need it. Every year, hundreds of health care providers are arrested and charged with medicare or medicaid fraud. Contact a medicare fraud defense lawyer at Justin Sparks Law Firm to help you properly respond to an investigation.
What is Medicare/Medicaid Fraud?
Defrauding Medicare is essentially stealing money from the federal government. Medicare/Medicaid fraud includes the following:
Charging Medicare/Medicaid for treatment never provided to the patient
Charging Medicare/Medicaid for medical devices or supplies that were never provided to the patient
Offering a drug plan that was not approved by Medicare/Medicaid
Falsely using a Medicare/Medicaid card for treatment
Consequences of Medicare/Medicaid Fraud
Most medical fraud indictments involve three or more people. Why? Texas medicaid fraud cases are generally based on a claim that medical treatment was not actually provided to the patient. In these situations, an indictment would include not only the business owner but also the nurse and medical treatment provider.
The criminal and civil penalties inflicted upon individuals or organizations that commit Medicare fraud reflect the serious harms which the act imposes on the rest of society. Imprisonment, fines, and penalties are enforced upon those who commit Medicare fraud under the federal sentencing guidelines. The sentence is based on the dollar amount of the fraud and the role (minor or major) played by the person accused. Medical care professionals also face exclusions from federal health care programs and the loss of professional licenses.
Health Care Fraud Investigations
The federal government uses a team of investigators, or a “strike force” to investigate potential Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Little more than one honest mistake may cause an investigation or audit.
The Affordable Care Act has actually strengthened the federal government’s enforcement abilities on Medicare fraud. With $350 million dedicated to the prevention and enforcement, the federal government has enabled the Justice Department to hire more prosecutors and build a larger strike force. The Act also toughens criminal sentencing penalties and encourages data sharing with the government. This implies that, if medical fraud is occurring, it’s likely that the government already knows and is gathering more evidence.
Hire a Quality DFW Medicare Fraud Attorney
The Sparks Law Firm is located in Fort Worth and provides criminal defense representation to the local community, as well as to Dallas and nearby counties. Justin Sparks offers free consultations to examine your case and help you choose your best option, which may be a plea agreement or it may be a jury trial. He can also guide your response to an investigation and tell you how to proceed while being investigated.
Sometimes, it is possible to cooperate with the authorities with the guidance of an attorney to avoid prosecution altogether. Other times, depending on the facts presented, it may be better to assert your rights and refuse to incriminate yourself. If charged, it is important to hire a fraud attorney who understands the challenges and limitations in a medicare/medicaid fraud case. Call Fort Worth’s medicare/medicaid fraud attorney Justin Sparks today for a free consultation. 817-334-0300
Justin Sparks has been defending clients across Fort Worth and Dallas for over ten years. Our firm helps you through the criminal process, from investigation to appeals, if need be. Free consultations for all new cases.