Estimates show that approximately 10% of all money spent on health care each year is a result of fraudulent claims. These common criminal actions cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year and have a negative impact on the health care industry as a whole. People who engage in health care fraud are often unaware of the severity of the consequences they face if they are convicted.
Health Care Fraud vs. Mistakes
It is imperative to distinguish the difference between making a mistake and committing fraud. In general, a person commits fraud when they knowingly engage in a scheme, plan, or activity intended to provide falsehoods with the intention of achieving some type of financial gain. Conversely, making a mistake entails submitting a false claim for payment after a payment has already been received, submitting a bill in error, and the unintentional acts of obtaining compensation for services not rendered or covered.
Consequences of Health Care Fraud
Perpetrators who commit health care fraud face an array of potential consequences. Regardless of whether a provider is charged for fraud at the state or federal level, they can face potential consequences, such as:
Prison: People who submit false claims or statements to Medicaid or Medicare can face potential prison sentences of 5-years per offense. A federal health care fraud conviction can result in a sentence of 10-years per offense. If the fraud results in serious bodily injury, the perpetrator can face up to 20-years in prison for offense and life in prison for acts that result in death.
Fines: In addition to prison sentences, individuals can be charged up to $250,000 in fines per each Medicaid or Medicare fraud offense. Organizations that engage in fraud can be charged up to $500,000 in fines for each offense.
Restitution: In some cases, judges can order defendants to pay restitution to parties impacted by their actions. For example, doctors who fraudulently bill insurance companies for services not performed may be required to repay all the money they received.
Probation: Perpetrators can be sentenced to probation in lieu of going to prison in some cases. Probation can last between 12 and 36 months, during which perpetrators are required to follow specific guidelines.
Healthcare Fraud Defense You Can Trust
People who are accused of healthcare fraud face numerous legal challenges. In some cases, those convicted can face several years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. Working with an aggressive legal defense team can make a world of difference for those wrongfully accused.
Our team at Healthcare Fraud Group is dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to those in need. We understand the challenges those accused of these horrific crimes endure. Not only are they forced to go through lengthy legal battles, but many of them lose their professional licenses, their ability to work, and suffer endless devastation that impacts their lives as well as their families. For this reason, we work diligently to ensure those accused have the best legal defense imaginable, so they can get back to their lives and move forward. Contact our national federal criminal defense law firm today at (888) 402-4054 to get help with your case.