Home Healthcare Fraud Attorneys
Home healthcare fraud covers a broad scope of violations, and the Department of Justice Health Care Fraud task force is serious about investigating and prosecuting those engaged in it. It’s imperative that licensed healthcare professionals and home healthcare agencies that find themselves the target of investigations or prosecutions contact a healthcare legal team immediately.
Healthcare fraud investigations and prosecutions are handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. attorney’s office, and the attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group are experienced in defending healthcare fraud cases.
Home healthcare allegations and charges can be launched against doctors, nurses, occupational or physical therapists, or home healthcare facility owners. Violations can result in severe consequences, including jail time. That makes it crucial to contact our highly skilled healthcare fraud defense lawyers as rapidly as possible. In addition to aggressively defending clients facing healthcare fraud charges, we can often prevent filing of charges in the first place.
Types of Home Healthcare Fraud
Types of Home Healthcare Fraud
Home healthcare fraud covers a variety of violations, and some of the most common we’ve handled include:
- Billing for services that were not provided
- Billing for provided services that were not necessary
- False claims about a patient’s homebound status
- Anti-kickbacks and Stark, which includes paying for the recruitment of patients
Investigations into Home Healthcare Fraud
Healthcare fraud investigations associated with home healthcare agencies typically involve treatment of patients that are not home bound, or billing Medicare for treatments that were never administered by a healthcare professional. Falsely billing Medicare for services are violations of the False Claims Act. This applies to billing for treatments that were never administered as well as billing for services that were not medically necessary.
While the False Claims Act only applies to healthcare professionals that knowingly present a fraudulent claim for payment, merely being accused of a violation can have a significant impact. They can result in significant penalties and collateral consequences.
The federal government typically investigates suspected False Claim Act violations, and the attorney general established the Healthcare Fraud Task Force to do exactly that. The task force is particularly active in regions where home healthcare fraud has been found to be rampant, such as Michigan and Florida.
Home Healthcare Fraud Defense Attorneys
Although home healthcare fraud charges are serious, the experienced attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group are able to launch an equally serious defense under the right circumstances. One defense is that a healthcare professional was not aware of the fraudulent activities. Another is having your attorney prove the treatments provided were a medical necessity. Because your entire defense relies on the ability to how medical necessity, it’s vital to seek the help of a legal team experienced with healthcare law.
With experience that stretches over the past decade, our health law attorneys have successfully resolved allegations of home healthcare fraud. In some cases, we have even been able to prevent indictments of licensed professionals associated with facilities facing fraud charges.
Because the DOJ is aggressive in its detection, investigation and prosecution of anyone associated with home healthcare fraud, its actions often result in far-reaching investigations and indictments. Some of those investigations and indictments may target healthcare practitioners with minimal involvement, or those not aware of the fraud at all.
Licensed healthcare professionals that find themselves being investigated or interviewed by government agencies need to contact one of our experienced lawyers immediately. The DOJ is one of the most common agencies involved, although investigations and interviews may likewise be conducted by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Home Health Services (HHS) or other entities. The lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group will meticulously investigate the allegations and strive to prevent an indictment, or present a strong defense if an indictment has already been filed
Potential Penalties for Home Healthcare Fraud
Home healthcare fraud charges can result in a number of possible sanctions. These include:
- Criminal charges, accompanied by jail and prison time
- Fines and restitution
- Exclusion from Medicaid and Medicare programs
- Inability to collect outstanding balances due on invoices
- Action from the state licensing board
Certain home healthcare violations fall under the False Claims Act, and such violations are treated as felonies. Penalties for False Claim Act violations include:
- Criminal charges and civil actions
- Up to five years in prison per claim
- Monetary penalties
Monetary penalties for violating the False Claims Act increased in 2016, increasing from $10,700 to $21,500. Those found guilty are also liable for three times the government’s damages, along with reimbursement of lawyer costs and fees. Penalties are assessed per claim, with each claim carries its own penalties. Civil monetary damages for False Claim Act convictions increased from $250,000 to $500,000.
If you’re a licensed healthcare professional being investigated or facing charges fof home healthcare violations, contact Norman Spencer Law Group immediately. Call our office to schedule a consultation today.