Federal Healthcare Fraud Defense
In recent years, prosecutors’ focus on pursuing cases of healthcare fraud has only increased, largely due to new regulations that are complex while at the same time remaining broad enough to allow for more investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. These kinds of charges can be brought up against patients, but we’re routinely seeing federal healthcare fraud cases that are brought up against dentists, nurses, doctors, chiropractors, therapists, pharmacists, and a variety of other medical professionals.
With all of this going on, the need has never been greater for legal professionals who have a deep understanding of these ever-changing laws, their reach, and what charges might result after successful convictions. It’s imperative that those facing a criminal investigation or even charges for healthcare fraud secure legal counsel immediately. With stiff penalties such as fines or even lengthy prison sentences, the stakes could not be higher for those facing such charges.
How is Healthcare Fraud Investigated?
Healthcare fraud can be investigated (and prosecuted) at both the state and federal levels. At the federal level, however, there are a number of agencies that are tasked with investigating such claims and charges. These are the Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Dept. of Defense, and the Dept. of Justice through the FBI and U.S. Attorney General’s Office.
When you’re under investigation for healthcare fraud, you’ll want not only a firm with experience handling cases like yours but a firm that has specific experience working with those government agencies. The Norman Spencer Law Group has that experience.
One common practice is for healthcare organizations to be audited by one or more government bodies. If any irregularities are discovered, an investigation will typically be started, at which point charges could soon fall against anyone to be found in violation of the law. One of the most common problems here is that the statutes and regulations are constantly changing, so it’s all too common for individuals to be in violation without even knowing or intending to do so.
Aside from the disruption to your business, there will be the public scrutiny involved, and the court of public opinion even if these violations were the result of a mistake or ignorance of new regulations.
What Are the Possible Consequences?
One of the striking aspects of healthcare fraud proceedings is that consequences can still be severe even if a conviction is not obtained. The most obvious way this can happen is that your reputation as a healthcare professional can be tarnished, perhaps permanently. Even if no evidence of wrongdoing was found, many will see an investigation as proof of some sort of wrongdoing, even if none was actually found. This can make it harder for healthcare professionals to find new patients, and it can also lead to issues with employment down the line.
Then, if a conviction is reached, it can lead to a healthcare professional losing their license as well as the ability to participate in federal healthcare programs for a minimum of five years, which can be devastating for a professional in the field, especially with positions often being scarce enough as it is.
Along with all of this, it’s even possible for an individual to be banned from receiving hospital services. This seems like an unthinkable punishment, but unfortunately, it’s possible and sometimes used when deemed “appropriate” by authorities. Medical professionals can even have their licenses stripped from them permanently, and those convicted may also face steep fines or even lengthy prison sentences, depending on the charges and the verdict that is reached.
What Should I Do First?
If you’re facing an investigation or charges of healthcare fraud, the first thing that you should do is secure competent legal representation. If officials are trying to inspect your offices, don’t let them unless they have a search warrant. Don’t impede any sort of investigation, but also know your rights as a citizen. You should speak with your lawyer before ever speaking with the police or other authorities.
One common tactic is for authorities to get a suspect talking early on, to intimidate them with fears of jail time should they not tell them everything they know. In the process, people can easily incriminate themselves or even enter plea deals that are not in their best interest, all so that prosecutors can have an easy conviction and another mark to add to their resume.
Instead, the best thing that you can do is to find a legal firm that has experience handling cases just like yours, a group of attorneys with a proven track record of success, specifically at the federal level. It’s common for defense lawyers to have experience and skill at the state level, but the proceedings and stakes involved at the federal level are completely different and should be treated as such.
Turn to Norman Spencer Law Group for Healthcare Fraud Defense
Along with being experienced and skilled at the federal level, you’ll need to find a firm that has direct experience dealing with the various government agencies that pursue and prosecute cases of healthcare fraud. With a combined 70 years of experience at handling cases just like this among so many others, the Norman Spencer Law Group is just such a legal firm. Our dedicated team of attornies has represented cases large and small, simple and complex, from every corner of the country.
If you’re not able to get to us, we can have a representative come to you and get started on the most effective legal strategy possible for your case. Our 1:1 service extends to our accessibility options. We provide legal consultations remotely over popular platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Duo, ensuring that you can always get in touch with one of us at a moment’s notice. So if you’re facing any sort of legal trouble as it relates to healthcare fraud, get in touch with us today. Someone from our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.