West Palm Beach Medicaid Fraud Attorney
The federal government and the State of Florida are consistently on the warpath when it comes to Medicaid fraud. The Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit touts the fact it has “obtained more than $700 million in settlements and judgments” from healthcare providers accused of overbilling and other fraudulent practices since 2011. Indeed, Florida received an award from the Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 for its “excellence in fighting fraud, waste, and abuse.”
What this means if you’re a Florida healthcare provider is that state officials are looking for any evidence of questionable billing practices that might constitute a civil or criminal violation of the law. If you find yourself the target of an investigation, it is important not to panic. Your first step should be to contact the qualified West Palm Beach Medicaid fraud attorneys at Skier Law Firm. We have the knowledge and experience to advise you of your legal rights when dealing with an investigation, and if necessary we will defend your interests in court.
What Is Considered Medicaid Fraud in Florida?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state Medicaid programs pay out over $29 billion annually in “improper” reimbursement claims. Not all of this is fraud. In many cases it is simply waste and mistaken payments. Fraud requires proof a healthcare provider knowingly misrepresented the truth in order to obtain a reimbursement or other benefit payment from Medicaid.
Here are some common examples of provider behavior that qualifies as Medicaid fraud:
- The provider files a claim for a medical service that was never actually rendered, such as an X-ray or lab work.
- The provider intentionally double-bills Medicaid and a private insurance company for the same service.
- The provider intentionally orders additional exams, procedures, services, or tests they know to be medically unnecessary.
- The provider miscodes a reimbursement request, for instance classifying a routine office visit as a service compensated at a higher rate.
- The provider bills Medicaid for the use of an unauthorized service provider, such as a hospice facility or a home health care aide.
- The provider gives or receives kickbacks in exchange for referrals involving Medicaid patients.
Contact the West Palm Beach Medicaid Fraud Attorneys at Skier Law Firm Today
The penalties for Medicaid fraud will depend on the specifics of the case, but they can be quite severe. If state or federal prosecutors get involved, they may decide to pursue criminal charges. Under federal law, filing a false claim for Medicaid reimbursement can land you in prison for 10 years–even more if a patient was injured or killed as a result of the fraud. But even if you avoid criminal penalties, the State of Florida can still suspend your license to practice medicine, and Medicaid can bar you from accepting any of their patients in the future.
This is why you simply cannot afford to ignore allegations of Medicaid fraud. Contact the Skier Law Firm today to schedule a confidential initial consultation with a member of our team. While no attorney can guarantee a favorable outcome, we can promise to zealously represent your interests and fight for your rights.