As we grow older, some of us will enter nursing homes or retirement facilities. Those opposed to such drastic changes often opt for home health care services instead. This service is rapidly growing across the country. In fact, over 815,000 Americans are employed as home health care providers.
Although home health care enables sick and elderly patients to receive assistance while remaining in their homes, there are numerous providers who engage in fraudulent activities while providing these services. In fact, statistics show that more than 700 people are convicted of healthcare fraud each year in the country. Before engaging in fraudulent activities or questionable actions as a home health provider, it is crucial that you consider the consequences you could face.
What Is Home Health Care Fraud?
The most common type of home health care fraud involves providers submitting claims to insurance companies that are not compliant with the benefits requirements stated under Medicare. In other cases, perpetrators will submit requests for payments that contain falsified information. These actions are committed by home health care providers to receive payment for services they did not provide.
Upcoding is another routine act that providers perpetrate. This act involves reporting that a patient’s condition is more severe than it really is. Upcoding results in a higher payment to the provider. In many cases, financial arrangements are made between HHAs and physicians that violate Anti-kickback statutes and Stark Law.
Penalties for Home Health Care Fraud
Providers who commit home health care fraud can face stacking fines and various other penalties. In most cases, perpetrators can face up to 10-years in prison for Medicare fraud. They also face up to $250,000 in fines and individual fines up to $11,000 for each fraudulent billing act. When serious injury or death occurs consequent to the fraudulent scheme, the prison sentence can be extended up to 20-years.
People who are convicted of home health care fraud are regularly sentenced to prison and imposed restitution and crippling fines. Not only do perpetrators face a serious disruption in their freedom and finances, but they are often prevented from providing care to others in the future. Some practitioners have their licenses temporarily suspended or permanently revoked, depending on the severity of their crimes.
Unfortunately, there are instances where home health care providers are wrongfully accused of these crimes. When innocent medical providers are accused of committing fraud and engaging in other criminal activities, it is crucial that they contact a healthcare fraud defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure their legal rights are protected.
Healthcare Fraud Group Can Help You
The team at Healthcare Fraud Group understands the significance of proving your innocence after being accused of engaging in home health care fraud. A conviction resulting from an investigation can result in fines, suspension of licenses, and a variety of other negative consequences. If you were accused of a crime or of similar forms of healthcare fraud, contact our defense attorneys at (888) 402-4054 to discuss your case as soon as possible.