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April 15, 2021

What Is Healthcare Fraud?

Healthcare programs like Medicare are put into place to help U.S. residents afford the care they need and to pay doctors for their services. Unfortunately, healthcare fraud can help drive up the costs of healthcare for the average person. That hurts both the patient and the healthcare provider.

Because the problem is so serious, you may need a federal criminal defense lawyer at The Chetson Firm if you’re accused of healthcare fraud. Your lawyer can help you get evidence and fight back to help you reduce or dismiss the charges.

What Is Medicare Fraud?

Healthcare fraud can involve committing fraud to get federal healthcare payments you would otherwise not have gotten. It can also include receiving bribes or kickbacks to get referrals or other items and services through healthcare programs. Many actions that lead to extra payments from federal healthcare programs for yourself or your practice may count as fraud.

Medicare fraud isn’t just a problem for individual health professionals. You may be accused of Medicare fraud because someone believes you were involved with a group or institution that committed healthcare fraud. Below are just a few examples of what healthcare fraud may look like:

  • Knowingly billing for supplies or services that weren’t supplied or used
  • Falsifying delivery records of unused supplies
  • Billing for more complex services than those documented
  • Billing for missed appointments
  • Paying for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries

Penalties for Healthcare Fraud

Accusations of Medicare fraud shouldn’t be brushed aside without concern. These are serious charges and can result in federal charges.

The financial penalties for a conviction of healthcare fraud may bankrupt you. You’re facing several thousands of dollars in damages, sometimes twice or triple the actual amount you were accused of taking. You may even face prison time, depending on the judge’s decision.

You may even face long-term indirect consequences if you don’t fight back and avoid a conviction. A criminal record can impact your employment, making it difficult to seek a new job as a healthcare provider.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

You don’t have to face severe legal penalties for Medicare fraud without help. You may not have the tools or experience to reduce or avoid a conviction for healthcare fraud on your own.

Your lawyer has the tools you need to gather evidence that shows you weren’t guilty of fraud. For example, you may have been accused of falsifying information to justify unnecessary testing and treatment. Your evidence may include proof you were performing the tests and treatments in good faith. Your lawyer can also represent you in court when you’re accused.

Reach Out to a Lawyer to Defend Your Case

Accusations of healthcare fraud are a serious mark on your record. It can hurt you as a serious medical professional, making it difficult to practice and help patients maintain and improve their health.

Getting a lawyer from The Chetson Firm on your side can help you face these charges head-on to get them reduced or dismissed. To get legal aid for your case, reach out by calling 919-352-9411 or by completing the online contact form below.

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