Health care fraud is considered a white-collar crime; these cases cost the country tens of billions of dollars a year. In April 2019, a local Tampa Bay was business was allegedly involved in a billion-dollar medical device fraud scheme. Described as one of the largest healthcare frauds in U.S. history, the nationwide crackdown was led by the FBI in 7 states. Fraudulent health care schemes may come in many forms from this example to fraudulent medical billing and or Medicaid fraud.
If you are a target of an investigation or have been charged with healthcare fraud, it is imperative to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately as both your license and reputation are at stake. At Stechschulte Nell Law, we are experienced in healthcare fraud defense and will seek the best possible outcome for your case.
Healthcare Fraud Investigations
The FBI is the primary agency for investigating health care fraud. They have jurisdiction over both federal and private insurance programs. Local FBI field offices are known to proactively target health care fraud.
Investigations may include task forces, undercover operations, and strike teams. The State of Florida even created a joint Healthcare Fraud Task Force comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that investigate allegations of healthcare fraud. These fraud investigations may lead to civil and criminal penalties such as probation, loss of a practicing license, fines, restitution and possible jail time.
Health Care Fraud Charges
In Florida, commonly health care fraud consists of billing for services that were never rendered. These medical bills may be set up using real patient information, which may have been obtained through identity theft, and may involve fabricating entire claims or by padding insurance claims for procedures that were not performed.
Medicaid and Medicare schemes are also commonplace locally. The Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigates and prosecutes health care fraud involving the state’s Medicaid program. Many of these charges are also related to fraudulent billing practices. The penalties are steep for Medicaid fraud as the prosecution considers this as stealing from Florida’s taxpayers.
Other allegations of health care fraud often include:
- Unlawfully dispensing controlled substances to patients without sufficient medical necessity
- Double billing or filing duplicate claims for the same service
- Filing insurance claims for services never provided
- Billing for services not covered by an insurer’s policy
- Providing kickbacks for referrals
Stechschulte Nell can skillfully defend your healthcare fraud case. Don’t wait; call 813-280-1244 today.
Defending Health Care Fraud
Our Tampa law firm has extensive experience helping healthcare professionals during and after criminal prosecution. We will help determine the best course of action regarding the following:
Reporting Your Arrest: If you’ve been arrested for healthcare fraud, you are required to either immediately report your arrest to your licensing agency or do so only upon conviction. We’ll advise you on how best to protect your professional license.
Negotiating with the State: First and foremost, our goal at our Tampa criminal defense law firm is to have all charges dropped, for which we’ve proven successful with clients without a previous criminal background.
If a complete dismissal is not possible, we work with the prosecutor to reach a result that will satisfy the state and do our best to allow you to keep your license. In one case, the way our attorneys structured the plea agreement helped a healthcare professional have her license suspended for significantly less time.
Negotiating with the Licensing Board: We will work with agencies such as the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Bar so they will allow healthcare professionals to practice their trade in exchange for certain actions, i.e. cooperating in the investigation.
Hire an Experienced Healthcare Fraud Attorney
As seasoned criminal defense attorneys, we understand the unique circumstances involved with healthcare fraud cases and will defend your rights as a licensed professional.
If you are under investigation for healthcare fraud, contact Stechschulte Nell Attorneys at Law immediately. We represent clients charged with healthcare fraud throughout Florida and are licensed to practice in other states. Call us today at 813-280-1244 for a free case review.