West Palm Beach Medicare & Medicaid Fraud Attorney
The federal Medicare and Medicaid programs provide health insurance for millions of Americans. Medical providers who accept Medicare and/or Medicaid patients must bill the government for their services. However, any mistake in the billing could trigger an investigation and civil or criminal penalties.
If you are being investigated for Medicare and/or Medicaid fraud, you need an experienced West Palm Beach Medicare & Medicaid fraud attorney in your corner. At the Skier Law Firm, we represent doctors and other medical providers in federal lawsuits. Contact us today to begin building your defense.
Examples of Errors that Trigger Investigations
Government investigators will closely scrutinize billing records to find mistakes, such as:
- Billing for the same procedure several times
- Billing too much
- Billing for phantom patients
- Billing for procedures or services never performed
- Billing for procedures or services that are not medically necessary
Some of these mistakes might be innocent, the result of inexperienced staff or software errors. However, the government is very aggressive in these cases and can open a criminal or civil prosecution for suspected fraud. Medical professionals who value their reputations should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to plan how they intend to respond to these charges.
Because of the number of retirees in Florida, the federal government aggressively monitors the state. In particular, the Medicare Fraud Task Force currently monitors nine cities, two of which are in Florida: Miami and Tampa.
Each Strike Force team combines the efforts of multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, with the goal of analyzing data and rooting out fraudulent schemes. To date, the Strike Force Teams have arrested over a thousand suspected fraudsters and recovered millions of dollars.
If you provide medical services in the state of Florida, you are at heightened risk of being surveilled for suspected fraudulent activity. As a result, you should always consult with an attorney whenever you suspect you have made a mistake with your billing.
Severe Penalties and Fines
The punishment you face will depend on whether the feds bring civil or criminal prosecution. Civil prosecutions focus on recouping money the government paid out in fraudulent claims and can include:
- Fines up to $11,000 per false claim submitted
- Non-payment of future claims
- Recoupment of money paid out for fraudulent claims
- Treble damages
- Exclusion from health care programs in the future
Although civil prosecutions do not result in jail time, they can effectively finish off a medical practice and bankrupt doctors caught up in the fraud.
If convicted of criminal fraud, a defendant could face:
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines
- 10 years in prison for each count of fraud
- 20 years in prison if the fraud resulted in bodily injury
- Life in prison if someone died as a result of your fraud
Practitioners can also face state discipline proceedings and lose their professional licenses.
Do Not Delay, Contact the Skier Law Firm
When the Feds come knocking at your door, call us. At the Skier Law Firm, our Medicare fraud attorneys in West Palm Beach have years of experience defending medical providers in investigations and lawsuits. The most important thing you can do is pick up the phone today.