HEALTH CARE FRAUD
South Florida leads the country in the number of fraud charges brought against health care professionals by the federal government. Besides hefty fines and time in federal prison, charges of fraud can ruin the careers of doctors and other health care professionals.
Health care fraud is a broad category that covers fraudulent schemes involving public and private health insurance plans. Anyone in the medical field can face accusations of fraud, including doctors, insurance companies, pharmaceutical reps, medical equipment vendors, contract carriers for Medicare and Medicaid, laboratories, hospitals, nursing homes and health care agencies.
- Billing clients or insurance providers for unnecessary or unfulfilled services
- Misreporting the date, location or providers of medical services
- Unbundling, which is billing separately for each group of concurrent tests or procedures
- Forging or tampering with medical records
- Using kickbacks and bribes to influence health care decisions and referrals
- Having untrained employees provide health care services
Congress has established that fraud related to the health care industry carries a statutory punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and significant financial penalties. The False Claims Act (FCA) allows the federal government to pursue penalties of up to $10,000 for every false claim, with an addition of up to three times the damages for any damages. These fines can add up quickly, and medical professionals who are convicted of a crime will often lose their license.
The Law Office of Ann Fitz defends doctors, health care specialists and other people involved in the medical industry from fraud charges. If you or someone you care about is facing federal allegations of health care fraud, call us at 561-932-1690 to schedule a free consultation.
Health Care Fraud Cases are Prevalent in South Florida
The Department of Justice's Health Care Fraud Strike Force, created in 2007, began as part of the South Florida Initiative - a joint investigative and prosecutorial effort against Medicare fraud and abuse in South Florida. The South Florida Strike Force has grown to 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, and has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $16 billion.