Federal Medicare Fraud
Medicare is a federal health care program that provides insurance benefits to older Americans. Nationally, over 50 million people receive Medicare benefits. In recent years, Medicare fraud has become a significant problem for the United States government, costing taxpayers millions annually. In an effort to combat waste, federal investigators and prosecutors have been on the search for individuals suspected of Medicare fraud. Whether it was the result of an intentional plan, an oversight, or the actions of your employee, being charged with Medicare fraud can change your life. Medicare fraud is a serious crime that may result in several years in federal prison, along with fines and a permanent criminal record.
At the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, we understand the emotions you may be experiencing if you have been charged with Medicare or another form of health care fraud. Facing a charge of this magnitude can be overwhelming and frightening. Federal charges are unique and require a legal defense conducted by an attorney with experience in this specific field. Attorney Freidberg has devoted over 20 years to representing clients in federal court across Illinois. He brings the knowledge and skill you need to bring a powerful defense against the charges you face.Medicare Fraud Explained
The term Medicare fraud can encompass several different crimes under various federal laws. The statute used most often by the government to bring a Medicare fraud claim is the federal healthcare law, found in 18 U.S. Code § 1347. Under the statute, it is a crime to knowingly execute or attempt to execute a scheme to 1) defraud any healthcare program; or 2) to obtain through false or fraudulent pretenses any money or property owned by or in the control of any healthcare benefit program.
The healthcare fraud law is broad and will apply not just to successful instances of Medicare fraud, but mere attempts as well. Other potential Medicare fraud charges could come under the False Claims Act, or 31 U.S. Code § 3729. Under the statute, it is a crime to knowingly present a false or fraudulent claim for payment or to knowingly make or use a false record or statement material to a fraudulent claim.
There are just a few of the crimes with which you could be charged at the federal level for Medicare fraud. The anti-kickback law, Stark Law and Social Security Act are further statutes that could be charged. Medicare fraud charges are complicated and each one involves a distinct set of elements that the government must prove to secure your conviction. Consult with our criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible for help understanding and defending against your specific Medicare fraud charges.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it has become even easier for the United States government to identify potential instances of Medicare fraud. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services now uses a predictive model technique to identify potential instances of fraud. Health care providers deemed at risk of fraud will be subjected to heightened scrutiny.Examples of Medicare Fraud
Some activities that are commonly charged as Medicare fraud include:
- Billing for services that were not provided
- Overcharging for services
- Making false statements to receive benefits
- Inserting fake diagnosis codes or code jamming
- Double billing
- Billing for new equipment but providing a patient with old equipment
- Improper cost reports
- Performing unnecessary tests
The most common defendants of Medicare fraud are highly educated and skilled doctors or nurses, as well as wealthy owners of health care practices. Most people charged with this crime have no criminal history. The incidence of false charges has increased with our use of automated assessments that can lead to false investigations. It is important for anyone who suspects they are being investigated for Medicare fraud to act quickly. The sooner you receive our legal assistance, the quicker you can put a halt to false investigations or combat the prosecution’s evidence.Penalties for Medicare Fraud
Even first time offenders may face serious penalties for a Medicare fraud conviction. Under the federal healthcare law, defendants convicted of Medicare fraud could face up to ten years in prison, along with heft fines. In cases involving serious bodily injury, such as where a patient did not receive the care needed although it was billed for, you could face 20 years in prison. If death results from the fraud, a defendant could even be sentenced to life in prison. Other potential penalties include infliction of a permanent criminal record, which could prevent you from returning to your career in the medical field or from ever receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits in the future.
When your career and future are on the line, you need to take swift action to ensure you present the strongest possible defense. Our zealous criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg have years of experience helping to secure our clients dismissal of their charges, reduction of charges, not guilty verdicts, or favorable plea deals that allow you to move forward with your life.
Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer David L. Freidberg to Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!
Medicare fraud is a serious offense that could result in several years’ imprisonment along with fines and potentially restitution. In recent years, prosecutors at the federal level have been cracking down on health care fraud. Physicians and healthcare workers across the country could face charges, often due to honest mistakes or errors by an employee. If you have been charged with Medicare fraud, it is critical that you act quickly to obtain the legal representation you need. For over 20 years, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg has assisted clients facing federal charges, including Medicare fraud and other fraud offenses. Our experienced law firm will diligently fight to mount the strongest possible defense against your serious charges. Call the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., today at (312) 560-7100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.