With the creation of the Affordable Care Act, both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have gained new resources and tools to fight Medicare fraud, as well as a $350 million increase in their budget. With these resources, they have been able to expand their Strike Force to nine locations nationally, as opposed to the previous two.
So far this year, the Strike Force has charged 243 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with the theft of over $700 million. In addition, it now has a greater capacity to catch fraud early with advanced predictive modeling technology, enhanced screening and real-time analysis of bill data.
Understanding possible penalties and charges you face
Current laws dictate that if you are found guilty of fraud – whether you work in health care or another white-collar industry – you can face fines and imprisonment. The fines depend on the statute that the government determines you have violated. These fines also depend on whether you’re being charged as an individual or a company, but it is not unheard of for fines to reach $500,000. All fines are in addition to money that you will be required to pay back to the government.
Jail time can go hand in hand with any fines you receive. You can expect up to five years per offense, and those accused of multiple offenses can even receive life in prison.
Finally, the courts can suspend your professional license and your ability to participate in government programs, like Medicare and Medicaid for health care organizations and professionals. All of these fines and penalties are at the federal level, but you can be charged at the state level as well.
The importance of your defense team
When you have the full weight of the federal government standing against you in a court of law, you need a defense team with the skills, training and experience to handle your case and obtain the best possible outcome. This is especially true with fraud when you consider the far-reaching nature of this type of charge.
When dealing with serious criminal charges, you need a team of attorneys that will act aggressively on your behalf. If you find yourself in this situation, contact an attorney for help today.