You should not hesitate to hire a medical fraud defense attorney if you are facing any sort of investigation. As both federal and state agencies continue their crackdown on healthcare fraud, more and more physicians and professionals find themselves being accused of criminal activities. It is critical to make sure you have someone working on your side to make sure that your rights are protected at all times.
Claims of abuse are becoming more widespread, and budgets continue to tighten nationwide. As a result, practitioners conducting billing activities and treatment may be under the scrutiny of regulators even if they are operating in good faith. No matter how honest a physician may be, there are times where investigators and regulators can be overly aggressive. If you find yourself being targeted, it will be imperative that you have a qualified medical fraud defense attorney.
Some of the most common types of cases stem from overbilling. The systems in place today involve complex codes that can be difficult for even veteran healthcare and insurance professionals to decipher. As a result, these professionals can make the same mistakes over and over again when billing Medicaid or Medicare. When an aggressive investigator sees these mistakes, he or she may interpret them as illegal behavior.
There are also efforts to combat medical fraud because of the over-prescription of drugs. These typically involve powerful pain medicines such as Oxycontin or opiates. However, some investigators are pursuing cases for what they term “excessive infusion drug therapies.” This basically means these investigators are claiming that physicians are prescribing more drugs than their patients’ need, which is a violation of federal law. However, what they are doing is basically lumping physicians with dealers of extremely dangerous drugs.
If convicted, a health care professional can face not only substantial court costs and fines, but also the loss of his or her license, probation, or even jail time in a state prison. A conviction can also result in the loss of ability to be a Medicare provider in the future.
Many times, healthcare providers will know they are under investigation because they will have been presented with a search warrant. This means that an agency is working with local prosecutors to put together the most substantial case possible. It will typically take quite a long time before charges are presented, but that does not mean you can wait to obtain legal help. The faster you hire a medical fraud defense attorney, the more time your representative will have to build as strong a case as possible on your behalf.
It is highly recommended that you obtain the help of a legal representative as soon as possible if you are facing an investigation or if you have been charged with an offense.