West Palm Beach Medicare Fraud Attorney
Medicare fraud is not an accusation that any Florida healthcare provider can afford to take lightly. If the federal government suspects you of overbilling Medicare, you may be facing serious civil and criminal penalties. And given the large number of Medicare patients living in and around West Palm Beach, doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists in this region face particularly strong scrutiny from regulators.
The West Palm Beach Medicare fraud attorneys at the Skier Law Firm can assist you in dealing with investigators and prosecutors. We understand the gravity of a fraud investigation and how it can affect your practice, your reputation, and ultimately your freedom. That is why we offer focused, professional representation for healthcare providers throughout West Palm Beach.
Why Am I Under Investigation for Medicare Fraud?
Healthcare providers are often blindsided when they are first informed they are the target of a Medicare fraud investigation. In many cases, the provider had no idea there was anything irregular or questionable going on with their practice. If you are in this situation, your first instinct may be to angrily insist you’ve done nothing wrong. But keep in mind, Medicare fraud often starts as a series of billing mistakes or innocent oversights. Unfortunately, such oversights may be seen in a much more sinister light by federal prosecutors looking to make an example out of you.
Here are some of the things that can trigger a Medicare fraud investigation in Florida:
- double billing for treatment or services;
- billing for services that were never actually performed (i.e., “phantom” billing);
- billing for testing, services, or supplies that Medicare deems “medically unnecessary”;
- billing for a service using an incorrect Medicare code that results in payment of a higher reimbursement (also known as “upcoding”); and
- accepting or making payments in order to generate Medicare referrals (i.e., “kickbacks”).
If the government can prove you committed any type of Medicare fraud, you face a wide range of potential civil and criminal penalties, including fines, expulsion from Medicare and other federal healthcare programs, suspension of your Florida medical license and loss of local hospital privileges, and even jail time. This last item is critical. Medicare fraud is a felony. A judge can sentence you to 10 years in federal prison for each act of fraud–20 years if the government can prove your actions caused “serious bodily injury” to a patient. While these are maximum penalties, they still illustrate the catastrophic consequences of failing to defend yourself against Medicare fraud allegations.
Why Do You Need a West Palm Beach Medicare Fraud Attorney?
Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option when you are under suspicion of Medicare fraud. You need to be proactive, which means working with an experienced West Palm Beach Medicare fraud attorney. At the Skier Law Firm, we will zealously represent your interests when dealing with Medicare investigators, prosecutors, and if necessary the court system. In many cases, the government’s evidence is weak and fails to prove you intended to defraud Medicare.
Do not assume that just because the government said you did something wrong that you are guilty. Call the Skier Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation so we can learn more about your situation and how we can help you.